There is no shortage of Jays fans whipping their caps to the ground saying they “can’t watch this team anymore,” just to pick them right back up after taking 3 of 4 in the Bronx and a Fenway sweep.
Tone changes a bit.
I’ve fielded enough bar-rail complaints from passive fans that were “not pleased” with Ross Atkins and his moves at the trade deadline – specifically to their starting pitching. Sure, we could have beefed up with a little more than acquiring Mitch White as a fill-in starter at the end of the rotation, but for what price? Renting Syndergaard, who is looking to get paid after this ‘prove them’ year, even though he’s only pitched over 160 innings twice in his career?
Front office decided to stand pat and not make any ground-breaking adjustments to their starting rotation. As of late, it’s actually been our bats that have fallen asleep, especially after getting swept by the lowly Angels.
We’re all very familiar with Manoah, Gausman and Berrios, even though we don’t know what version of Jose we’re going to get when he’s stepped on the mound this year. Who’s next though? Definitely not Yusei Kikuchi. That project failed as he’s now coming out of the pen, which still makes me nervous.
In my eyes, our unsung hero has been Ross Stripling, who has been more than serviceable this campaign.
Stripling, who was an All-Star back in 2018 with the Dodgers, was somewhat of a project when the Blue Jays acquired him. His 2021 campaign was a definite down year but he seems to have made the necessary adjustments over the course of the season.
This year, Stripling has been tossing his change up almost twice as much as before (13% to 25%), while mixing in a sinker, which he did not throw in his previous campaign. This has led to more swings and misses, as he is on pace to climb back to his All-Star numbers.
Latest episode and latest article covering all things @betstamp
— DOWN BY TWO (@downbytwopod) August 26, 2022
On the season, he has a career low WHIP of 1.05 which is 2 point off from Manoah’s 1.03. His WHIP is also amongst the top 20 in the majors.
So yes, Stripling isn’t one of the sexier names that you’re hoping to send to the mound in the playoffs, that is if we make it. Just keep in mind that Stripling actually has a higher strikeout rate compared to, say, Noah Syndergaard.
Sit tight Jays fans, September is going to be full of ups and downs, but count on Ross Stripling to be a part of the positives.