MLB: Toronto Blue Jays' Bullpen Gets Boost from Trade for Frank Francisco
Catcher Mike Napoli didn't have much time to get used to the idea of being a Toronto Blue Jay because the Jays have traded him to the Texas Rangers.
In return, Toronto acquired relief pitcher Frank Francisco. Francisco pitched in 56 games last year for the Rangers appearing in 52.2 innings with a 6-4 record and two saves.
Now, I admit I am not that much of a baseball statistics expert, so I am not going to go into all of them. In another article that was written about this subject, it was said that Francisco was an odd pickup by the Blue Jays. I have another opinion.
Toronto's starting rotation is set to consist of Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek and most likely Mark Rzepczynski. That means the average age of the rotation is 24.8 years old. As they proved last year, Romero and Morrow are really good pitchers, while Cecil and Drabek are no slouches either.
A rotation that young stands to make a few mistakes though, and in recent years, the Blue Jays' relief pitching has been one of their biggest weaknesses. With the signing of Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel and now the acquisition of Francisco, general manager Alex Anthopoulos has made an effort to improve it.
Did Anthopoulos acquire Francisco to be the best relief pitcher in Jays' history? No. He was brought in to support a strong, but young pitching staff.
Rauch, Dotel and Francisco, as well as returning Blue Jay Jason Frasor, will compete for the closer's job. No matter who wins the job though, the other three will add to what could be a strong relief crew for Toronto.
I expect to at least contend for the American League Wild Card this year, on the road to being a legitimate shot to win the AL East in the next few years.
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