After a disastrous appearance in April with the Blue Jays, Matt Dermody continues to roll as member of the Buffalo Bisons
About two years ago I wrote an article highlighting the importance of developing bullpen pieces rather than building a bullpen through free agency. I would rather spend money on starting pitching and position players than on guys who A.) only throw 50-70 IP/yr and B.) performance can vary greatly from season to season.
In Triple-A Buffalo Matt Dermody is making his case to be the next Toronto draft pick to claim a spot in the Blue Jays bullpen.
Matt Dermody debuted with the Blue Jays on September 3rd, 2016 against American League East rivals, Tampa Bay Rays. The 6-foot-5 left-handed reliever struck out a batter, allowed 2 hits, didn’t allow any runs or issue any walks in 0.2 IP.
Unfortunately, Dermody’s tenure in Toronto didn’t last long, only 3 innings over 5 games. Despite, finishing with a 12.00 ERA Dermody received consideration for a spot in the Blue Jays 2017 bullpen.
In his only major league appearance of 2017, Dermody allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and a walk. Dermody allowed 3 home runs and retired just one batter before being pulled. He was returned to the minors the next day.
Back in Bisons Red
That was at the end of April.
Since that fateful day in Toronto (too dramatic???) he has pitched 30 innings in relief for the Buffalo Bisons. During that time he owns a 1.433 WHIP, 2.70 ERA and a 4-1 record. Dermody walked 7 and struck out 26 in the past 2 1/2 months and leads the farm with 6 holds during that period.
Dermody isn’t an overpowering pitcher. He’s not lighting up any radar guns with a triple digit fastballs. Instead, the 38th round pick relies on the movement he gets off his low 90’s fastball/sinker and mid-80’s slider to get batters to drive the ball into the ground (1.62 GO/AO). When Dermody is on his game his pitches have above average moment down in the zone.
Over his last 10 appearances, Matt Dermody has been in a groove. Despite a rough outing on July 18th (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 0 K), the tall lefty has posted a 2.03 ERA with 3 walks and 12 strike outs while allowing just 3 runs. He has still allowed greater than a hit per IP but with 56 GB versus 12 FB it hasn’t been an issue.
When facing left-handed batters, Dermody owns a 2.40 ERA with 3 walks and 16 strike outs. In 15 IP He has held LHB to a .250 batting average.
When facing right-handed batters, Dermody owns a 4.13 ERA with 5 walks and 21 strike outs. RHB are batting .323 off him in 24 IP.
He has posted a very good .356 BABIP but he needs to work on his 75.0 LOB% if he hopes to be considered more than just a Lefty specialist.
Aaron Loup and Jeff Beliveau are the two lefties in the Blue Jays bullpen. Beliveau will likely be returned to the Bisons if/when J.P. Howell can get healthy. Ryan Tepera should also be mentioned along side this pair of LHP. Tepera pitches very well against LHB (.200 BA) and is one of manager John Gibbons favorites.
As the 4th LHP RP on the depth chart, it appears unlikely that Dermody will get another chance to earn a regular spot in the Blue Jays bullpen this season. However, he will see some innings as September call-up which he could use to erase the memories of that late April appearance.
*Featured Image Credit: Buck Davidson- cropped from original UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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