Newly acquired relief pitcher, Adam Cimber, might fill an important hole in the Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen
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Dickerson is an experienced left-handed outfielder with an all-star selection and a gold glove in his trophy case. It has been suggested that Dickerson could also be used at first base, but he has never played a major league game at that position so he would most likely be no more than am emergency backup.
But the potentially more interesting acquisition – or at least, filler of a more immediate need – is Adam Cimber. The “Cimdog Millionaire” will turn 31 in August, and is under team control via arbitration through 2024. He is a submarine sidearm pitcher, with a career 3.69 ERA (4.01 SIERA). In his four mlb seasons, his Statcast xERA has been under 3 in two years and under 4 this year. He profiles as a middle-inning, middle-leverage right handed reliever.
So why is he a particularly good fit for the Jays?
The submarine effect
Sidearm pitchers play with a hitter’s mind. The ball is coming from a completely different angle, with unexpected movement. This not only helps Cimber himself, but also the pitchers who follow him. Remember how writers used to say that facing R.A. Dickey would mess with hitters’ timing so badly that they often found it difficult to re-adjust when facing a more conventional pitcher the next day? It helps the Jays to be able to show opposing hitters a variety of looks.
Slow is good (what??)
Imagine a hitter facing a starter like Robbie Ray, with a 95-97 mph fastball. When Ray leaves after 6 innings, in comes Cimber and his 87 mph “heater” for the 7th. And just when the hitters are beginning to adjust, in comes Romano or Merryweather for the 8th with triple digit nastiness.
Walks are bad
Cimber has a career walks per nine innings of an excellent 2.56. Would it not be nice to have a relief arm who did not worship at the Church of the Free Pass?
Lots of ground balls.
In numerical terms, line drives produce 1.26 runs/out, fly balls produce 0.13 R/O, and ground balls produce only 0.05 R/O. So more ground balls is generally a good thing. From 2018-21, 58 relievers have pitched 150 or more innings. Cim’s 54.9% ground ball rate is 5th in that group.
Cim limits hard contact
So far in 2021, Cim’s 2.1 Barrels/PA% is 5th among relievers with 100+ PAs. His average exit velocity of 87.1 mph is 24th. High ground ball percentage + weak contact = happy Manager.
The bottom line
Cimdog is not an elite arm who will singlehandedly solve all of the Jays’ bullpen problems. But he *is* a reliable, above-average reliever who brings a new weapon to the Jay arsenal. And if he can take over a good chunk of the middle inning bullpen duties, he could serve as a welcome bridge to the Romanos and Merryweathers. And (a not insignificant bonus!) he could be a lot of fun to watch over the next 3.5 years!
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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A Jays fan since pre-Series, Jim’s biggest baseball regret is that he did not play hooky with his buddies on 7 Apr 77. But hearing “Fanfare For The Common Man” played from a rooftop on 24 Oct 92 helped him atone.