Toronto Blue Jays Highlights and Lowlights : J.A. Happ

 

Jays From the Couch Toronto Blue Jays Player Highlights & Lowlights from the 2016 Season. This time: J.A. Happ

 

 

http://gty.im/615663016

 

 

How many different ways can we extol the beauty that was J.A Happ’s pitching this season? There were many an eyebrow lifted at the time Happ signed – back – with the Toronto Blue Jays late November 2015. His contract, 36MM over three years, once questioned, now seems like a steal given Happ’s Cy Young worthy performance.

Year Age W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP ERA+ FIP WHIP
2016 33 20 4 .833 3.18 32 0 0 195.0 168 72 69 22 60 163 6 134 3.96 1.169
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2016.

 

Happ was traded away last winter after spending two and a half seasons with the Blue Jays. He left with a 4.22 ERA though in 2015 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates his ERA was 1.85 in 11 games. It was obvious the Blue Jays front office had hopes he had found his groove and would be a solid starter for a team that had lost David Price to the Boston Red Sox.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

J.A Happ answered the call in spades. A career high 20 wins and second in the AL with a 3.18 ERA – dropping to 2.70 in the postseason – was a much needed boost to the rotation. JFtC tracked his progress back in early July detailing his past history with the team. His 2016 highlight reel definitely tells the story of his successful season and was likely easy to compile. When thinking about Happ’s season, I would be remiss if I did not mention the 11 game winning streak he had going June through August.

 

 

His pitch delivery, without the flash of other prominent starters, was effective in keeping the Blue Jays in games that the offense didn’t seem to be a big part of. Of J.A. Happ‘s 6 pitches, his fourseam fastball saw the most action- used 37.84% of the time in April moving up to 48.4% of the time in October. He was also able to add in the use of his cutter, which was not used at all in April, August or September, but saw a comeback in October.

 

happusage

 


Source: FanGraphs


Source: FanGraphs

 

LOWLIGHTS

There aren’t many lowlights to record. The one game that stands out was against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 16 where Happ had eight earned runs on seven hits that included two homeruns. This all happened in 2+ innings. It was his worst start in six years. Thankfully this was an anomaly of sorts and he was able to shrug it off so to speak.

 

2017 OUTLOOK

Looking forward to the 2016-2017 season, it’s hard to think that J.A Happ won’t be a big part of it. Securely entrenched in his position as a key starter for the organization, Happ has the ability to quietly climb into elite starter status if he is able to replicate this past season. This would make his $13MM for the next two seasons a relative bargain considering what elite starting pitchers have garnered contract wise in the free agency market. Working on his secondary pitches and becoming more comfortable with his cutter will only improve his already great performance next season. Look for J.A. Happ to continue keeping the Blue Jays in the game, and hopefully yet another playoff run.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: James G UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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