2017 Toronto Blue Jays Season Review: Mike Bolsinger

 Right-hander Mike Bolsinger is a free agent. Photo Credit: Canadian Press

Right-hander Mike Bolsinger is a free agent. Photo Credit: Canadian Press

By Emily @JaysGirlEmily

Blue Jays from Away

Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.

The Blue Jays added Mike Bolsinger just after the trade deadline in 2016, getting something in return for Jesse Chavez who was bombing in Toronto. Bolsinger didn't appear with the Blue Jays in 2016, starting six games with the Buffalo Bisons and posting an ERA just over 6.00 with a 1.579 WHIP over 25 1/3 innings despite striking out 27 and walking 11.

The righty, now 29, had a 6.23 ERA and 2.08 WHIP over 13 spring innings--despite 16 strikeouts, he walked nine--and was assigned to triple-A Buffalo to start the year. After making two appearances out of the bullpen, Bolsinger was stretched out, throwing eight scoreless innings over two starts, striking out 11 and walking only two before getting called up in May to join the Blue Jays' starting rotation.

Bolsinger made five starts in May for the Blue Jays but the transition wasn't seamless. Over 25 2/3 innings (Bolsinger would pitch between 4 2/3 and 5 2/3 innings in each start) he walked 19 batters and struck out 21 for a much more unfavourable ratio than he had in the minor leagues. But he did provide the Blue Jays innings, despite a 5.61 ERA and a WHIP of 1.79. In those 25 2/3 innings, opponents posted a .398 OBP against Bolsinger and he was sent back to the Bisons.

Bolsinger's pendulum swung once again the other way as he logged 21 1/3 innings in June with Buffalo, having a 1.69 ERA and, despite much lower strikeout numbers (eight), he only walked one batter while giving up an OPS of .594. Back in the majors to start July, Bolsinger was put to work mainly in the bullpen where he cut down on the walks (eight in 15 2/3 innings) and struck out more batters than innings pitched (18) but was also hit hard for a 7.47 ERA and 1.107 OPS against.

Returning to Buffalo for the remainder of the year, Bolsinger finished with a strong campaign, allowing just three runs in 14 innings, striking out 16 and walking four with a 1.93 ERA and .663 OPS against.

Following the season, Bolsinger became a free agent but if he can figure out how to duplicate his minor league success in the major leagues, he could be a bargain for someone as a minor league free agent.

Contract Status

Electing free agency, Bolsinger is off Toronto's books.

Regular Season Grades

Jay Blue: D

Emily: C

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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!


Emily is a Communications student who grew up with a Roy Halladay poster on the back of her door. A baseball history nerd, she played softball for nine years and changes her favourite Blue Jay on a regular basis. She fondly remembers going to her first Jays game at age six with her father, and spending the whole time staring at the elevators going up the CN Tower.