Jays From the Couch will review projections made by various entities to predict Roberto Osuna‘s 2016 stats
In 2015, the Toronto Blue Jays received a gift from the baseball gods in the form of Roberto Osuna. Heading into last season the Blue Jays expected Brett Cecil, veteran of 6 major league seasons and proven set-up man, to take on the closer role, with Osuna a being a dark-horse to even break camp.
In 12.1IP, Osuna impressed Blue Jays brass with his stuff and his ability to attack the strike zone. In 9 appearances, the native of Juan Jose Rios, Sinaloa, Mexico won 2 games, posted a 2.19 ERA, with 5 BB and 14K’s. Good enough for a spot, in what was considered, a weak Blue Jays bullpen. Not only was he the youngest player on the Blue Jays roster, he was the younger player in the Major Leagues.
The Blue Jays started the year by easing Cecil into the closer role with Miguel Castro getting the majority of save opportunities (SVO) in April. Truth of the matter, the Blue Jays didn’t really need a closer in the first few weeks of the season. There were only 9 SVO in April, 6 in May, and 9 in June.
By July, Roberto Osuna took advantage of some shaky appearances by Castro (demoted by this time) and Cecil to assume the closer role, which he held for the rest of 2015. Osuna would convert 20 out of 23 save opportunities in his rookie season, saving 10 during the Blue Jays run in August.
Osuna appeared to fade or the league adjusted, as he went 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 13 games in September. He pitched 69.2 innings in 2015, more than 20 innings higher than his previous high.
With pitchers and catchers reporting to Dunedin for Spring Training this week, Osuna enters camp with his role undefined after Toronto added closer Drew Storen in a trade that sent LF Ben Revere packing.
This article will look at how ZiPS, Steamer and Fans from Fangraphs.com project the Blue Jays young fireballer will fare in 2016.
ZiPS– The forecast for Osuna is to pitch 54.7 innings with an ERA of 3.13 and a FIP of 3.22. ZiPS computes that Roberto will make 61 appearances and will have 27.5K% and 7.6BB%. ZiPS doesn’t compute W-L-SV.
Steamer– Projected to pitch in 65 games with 65.0IP with 17 saves. Osuna’s expected to finish with a 4-3 record, 3.19 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Steamer projects Osuna strike out rate at 10.02/9 and a walk rate of 2.93/9.
Fans– Osuna’s projected to save 21 games with a 3-4 record in 61 games. Fans forecasts that Osuna will make two starts and pitch 78.0 innings while finishing with a solid 2.72 ERA and 3.12 FIP. Osuna’s expected to strike out 9.69/9 and walk 2.19/9.
The above projections expect that Osuna will have another successful season, but with a low number of saves. The acquisition of Drew Storen this off-season would be the cause of such a low number of saves. Ross Atkins didn’t bring Drew Storen and his 94mph fastball and 8 million dollar contract to Toronto to set up games.
Fans can expect that Osuna will get the odd save opportunity throughout the season, but even Steamers projection of 17 saves appears high to this guy. Osuna will see more multiple inning outings 2016, which should allow Osuna to reach 80-90IP and put him in the running for a starting role in 2017.
Osuna had a consistent 2015, but this writer expects that 2016 will be less kind. Expect the 21-yr-old to finish the year with an ERA closer to 4.00, with more losses than wins, and to struggle with his control at times. Roberto will still dominate for long stretches and finish with 10+ K/9 but will have 3+ BB/9.
Good luck in 2016, Roberto Osuna!
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: KEITH ALLISON UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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