Hutchison will head south to Buffalo so the Jays can keep him on his throwing program. The Jays have lots of off days coming up and when you’re having he kind of year Hutchison is, you get demoted so you can, “stay on schedule” instead of having the schedule rearranged for you. He is the weakest and youngest link, so he needs to be kept on his developmental track.
Verdict: This is a good, sensible move.
The Jays will also bring up Matt Hague and Ezequiel Carrera, which gives the Jays some corner and outfield flexibility, useful in a national league series. Hague is killing AAA: a .348 average and a .427 on‒base percentage for a .909 OPS. Carrera was solid for the Jays before his demotion on August 1st, batting .279 with a .701 OPS while playing all three outfield positions
Verdict: These are also good, sensible moves.
And, of course, Aaron Loup heads to the minors to “get on a program,” so sayeth John Gibbons. Essentially the Jays want him to get some extra chances to throw, and hopefully learn how to be more… uh… lucky while he does it.
Loup has pitched 5 times in the last 30 days and hasn’t been that effective, posting 2.1 innings pitched and a 7.71 ERA. That’s not great, nor is his 5.20 ERA for the year, nor is the fact that lefties have a higher batting average off of him this year than righties—despite righties hitting him harder.
All that aside, Loup’s body of work is pretty great. His ERA is misleading. His K’s per 9 is the highest it has ever been. His groundball rate his just as good as last years, his FIP is near identical to 2014, and the one stat that usually spells death for a pitcher is at an all time low: only 6 walks!
The culprit is the home run. It has killed Loup. 6 this year, all off righties. When he gets hurt, he gets hurt bad.
Another way to say this is he is getting BABIP’ed to death at (.333, an all time high). The worst thing for a guy that is getting BABIP’ed, or otherwise unlucky, is to keep them out of the action for extended stretches of time so they can sit and overthink that which does not need to be overthunk. Loup to the minors is an okay move, but I honestly don’t think it as life or death as his ERA might suggest.
Verdict: This a sensible move, but not career altering.
Finally, lets talk about Troy Tulowitzki, who is slashing .219/.333/.406/.740 since becoming a Jay. That’s not good, but, am I worried? Ask me if I’m worried.
<<are you worried, Dirk?>>
Hell no! Tulo’s faced a lot of hard throwing right-handers since coming to the Jays, many of whom he’s never faced before. He’s also seen 48 sliders and swung at about 50% of them.
I was listening to Blair and Barker on Baseball Central the other day, just because I like to keep tabs on my former show (doesn’t hold a candle to my years). Barker postulated that “the book is out” on Tulowitzki not being able to get to inside pitches, and the league is pounding him inside, exploiting him, which explains his decline.
There seems to be the normal, request amount of up-and-ins here to keep a bat like Tulo’s off your away pitches. Nothing outside the usual. But, maybe this is just for RHP? Maybe LHP goes in more?
Hmmm… looks like a lot of pitches inside, but, 7 down-and-in pitches—fastball’s, sliders, cutters—isn’t many. Despite the red box, that’s not a lot of pitches. Moreover, that’s not even the area he’s swinging and missing in most frequently.
Looks like, if anything, he’s missing up and over the plate? Just as much in as away. In fact, if we look at his whole body of work, he looks like he’s missing spots he usually misses, and hitting spots he usually hits. You’ll also notice that the area he’s seeing the most inside pitches at, he’s not whiffed on.
Tulo chases the ball up and down, and sometimes chases up too much. He also gets beat on the hard splitter down—which he saw a lot of from Tanaka. But Tulo doesn’t really get beat in, and there is no track record to indicate he should be challenged in because he’s weak there.
So, has Tulo changed because of the trade? No. He’s just adjusting to new pitchers in a new division.
Verdict: Don’t worry, Tulo is fine.
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