Pointing the finger at one player is unfair and unfounded.
Fact: Roberto Osuna has blown 10 saves this season.
Fact: The Jays have lost 8 of those 10 games.
Myth: Those blown saves are reason the Blue Jays aren’t going to the postseason in 2017.
I understand the frustration from Jays fans. They’ve made it to the ALCS the last 2 seasons, and this team should be much, much better than it has been. To suggest, however, that one player is to blame is simply appalling to me.
Roberto Osuna has had his struggles this year, no doubt about it, but as of this writing, he’s also saved 35 games. That’s the second most in the American league and 5th overall in the Majors. Let us not forget that Osuna also had a run of 23 straight converted saves.
It’s an old cliche, but you win as as team and lose as a team. Even if you are convinced those 8 losses are all due to Osuna, what about the other 77 games the team has lost?
J.A. Happ is 8-10 this year, does that mean his 10 losses are the reason they aren’t going to the playoffs?
Joe Biagini is 3-10. So is it his fault?
Looking at the failure of one player and pinning the fate of the entire season on them is absolutely ludicrous.
If you want to lay blame somewhere, consider this…
Jays starters are 25th in the Majors in innings pitched.
They are dead last in the Majors when hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Jays have also used the DL 31 times, 2nd most in the Majors.
Want 1 more? They have hit into the most double plays in the Majors.
I could go on all day, but surely you must get the point. There are a myriad of reasons 2017 hasn’t worked out and it’s been the combination of all of those that has landed them where they are.
The other thing I’d like to address, is the notion that Osuna needs to be taken out of the closers role, or even shut down for the remainder of the season. In my opinion, if he’s healthy, demoting him would be the worst thing you could do. He’s 22 years old and has already saved close to 100 games. Considering the Jays are no longer in a playoff race and giving prospects an opportunity, what’s the point in not having Osuna close? If he has what it takes to be a closer, you need to see how he deals with adversity. Osuna has been playing pro ball since he was 16, so this isn’t the first time he’s had to face it.
For now, the team is sticking with him, and that’s all that really matters. He may blow more saves, he may earn more, but never forget that one player is not and can not be the sole reason for a team’s success or its failure.
Photo credit: Keith Allison – https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/21788281862, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44190294