MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Taking a Look at the Toronto Blue Jays' Newest Pitchers
This may not be the Matt Garza or Zack Greinke of acquisitions, but don't be fooled simply because these pitchers aren't Cy Young recipients.
To many Blue Jays fans, this might seem like a waste of money, mainly because they don't know who these guys are, but rest assured—Pirates and Mariners fans feel a similar buzz.
In the next two slides, I'm going to give Torontonians (and Blue Jay fans alike) a glimpse of what to expect from these two power pitchers—and believe me when I say power.
The Blue Jays may have stolen two of the best relief pitchers on the market, and although they are no-names in Toronto, that thought will quickly be replaced with fastballs your eyes can't catch up with.
Before anything, I must say this—there aren't many pitchers in the league who can command their pitches the way Brad Lincoln does.
Lincoln, a right-handed reliever, has a fastball that hits the 93-96 range consistently. Not only that, but he knows how to throw it in on batters' hands on-command. He attacks hitters, takes control of at-bats and is a sure-thing out of the bullpen. Also, his numbers in 2012 are significantly better than in his previous two seasons.
Lincoln has a career 4.26 ERA, which isn't great, but that's in large part because of his 2010-11 seasons where his ERA was 6.66 in 52.2 innings and 4.72 in 47.2 innings, respectively.
His ERA this season is 2.73 in 59.1 innings, so the trend is looking good, but that's not even the exciting part.
In his first two seasons he had a combined 54 strikeouts. This season he has 60. So to no one's surprise, his SO/9 ratio is 9.1 in 2012, limiting batters to a .230/.278/.396 slash line—the Major League average is .256/.322/.402.
But that's not all.
Thirty percent of his strikeouts are done via the called-strike-three, six points higher than the Major League average. He also throws more first-pitch-strikes than the league average, meaning he doesn't like to waste time and gets ahead in the count (very Casey Janssen-like).
In the past he's had issues with his changeup, forcing a lot of unnecessary walks, signified by a career 1.35 WHIP. This season (you guessed it) his WHIP sits at a comfortable 1.10.
All in all, Alex Anthopoulos acquired Brad Lincoln at the peak of his career while he's still cost efficient and controllable through 2017.
This guy is big, he's powerful and he's exactly what the Jays need in the middle-innings.
"Yes! Lincoln is coming out of the pen!"—I can see that catching on in the near future, so be sure to quote me.
According to ESPN's Keith Law, Steve Delabar isn't expected to make much of an impact with the Toronto Blue Jays. That being said, I politely disagree.
Delabar is a big guy (6'5", 220 lbs) with a fastball sitting at 94-96 consistently. He also has a sharp slider and splitter to compliment the heat. His GB/FB ratio is 0.84, a nudge higher than the Major League average of 0.82.
He too, like Lincoln, isn't very well known in Toronto, but there are a few stats about him that jump out at me.
Opposing hitters are having a tough time hitting this guy. Major League hitters are batting .255/.320/.402 this season.
Against Delabar, they are batting a dismal .177/.267/.415.
Not only that, but 62 percent of his pitches are strikes and only 66 percent of batters swinging at his pitches are making contact (ML avg. is 79 percent).
Also, he's only walked 11 batters in 36.2 innings, meaning he will go right at you. So if they hit him, so be it, but he won't put many runners on via his own mistakes.
Delabar will be a tremendous relief pitcher for the Blue Jays for years to come and he's only owed $480,000 for the rest of the season.
Toronto didn't give up a whole lot for him, either. The Jays shipped out Eric Thames, and added more depth to their already injury-riddled bullpen.
The opportunities with Delabar will come up early and often and soon enough, Toronto will realize that he is a big guy who can perform in big-game scenarios.