Jays From the Couch looks into whether it is time to give Brett Oberholzter a shot at contributing for the Toronto Blue Jays
LHP Brett Oberholtzer was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays after the trade deadline that saw Francisco Liriano head to the Houston Astros and Joe Smith off to Cleveland. Filling the holes left in the rotation is definitely a priority. He was DFA’d after only two days with no playing time, and sent back to Buffalo to make room for the recently acquired Nori Aoki. Maybe it’s time to make the call to get him back as he seems to have found his groove.
It was August 8, 2017 when Oberholtzer, recently back from the Blue Jays when he put up six clean innings for the Buffalo Bisons. After that game, Bisons manager Bobby Meacham had nothing but praise for Oberholtzer’s outing and character.
“He went up to the big leagues, he went up there and didn’t get to pitch but I tip my hat to him for staying ready, to come back here and throw as many pitches as he did and put up zeros for all those innings. He shows what kind of pitcher, what kind of person he is.”
Mike Ohlman, the Buffalo Bisons catcher who has been up and down the QEW recently was behind the plate for Oberholtzer’s game and was fast to praise his teammate.
“He has some calls that should have gone his way and didn’t and I don’t think it fazed him. He just got right back out there, made the next pitch and he had everything working, all his pitches working for strikes whenever he wanted them so that was a lot of fun for me to catch, and a lot of fun for him to be able to execute all that.”
After being outrighted by the Phillies and electing free agency, Oberholtzer and the Blue Jays agreed on a minor-league deal in December 2016. Coming to the Blue Jays after a career worst 5.89 ERA, he has since posted a much better 3.98 ERA. The Blue Jays will be the fourth team for Oberholtzer, having spent time in the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels. Drafted in 2008 by the Atlanta Braves, he went on to make his MLB debut with the Houston Astros in 2013.
With yet another solid start for Oberholtzer in the books on Monday night, with only one pitch halting yet another six shutout innings. A start that was overshadowed by Danny Jansen‘s incredible cycle bid (yes, he hit a game tying homerun in the ninth-inning instead of the needed double for the cycle, but that’s just fine), the conversation should turn to recalling Oberholtzer to once again fill in the holes plaguing the Blue Jays pitching. A few innings putting up zeros is just what the Blue Jays need right now, and Brett Oberholtzer might just have the arm to do it.
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.