When Jo-Jo Reyes made the starting rotation out of spring training it seemed more like a reward for his excellent spring than it did a necessity because he was out of options.
But tonight, with Jo-Jo Reyes set to make his sixth start against the Rays in Tampa, it seems that the only reason he’s still here is BECAUSE he is out of options.
It certainly has nothing to do with his performance.
Through five starts, Reyes hasn’t only been bad, he’s been awful. Terrible. Horrendous.
His ERA is bad (5.48). His WHIP is bad (1.83). His control is bad (4 hit batters). His stamina is bad (just over 4.5 innings per start). His ERA should actually be worse, but a questionable error call against Encarnacion allowed six (6!!!) runs to score unearned. Include those and his ERA jumps to 7.82.
He’s been bad at home (7.84 ERA). He’s been bad on the road (0-2, 1.97 WHIP).
He is bad against right handed batters (.338 average and .895 OPS against). He is bad against left handed batters (.333 average and .958 OPS against).
He’s been roughed up in the early parts of games (6.14 ERA, .957 OPS against in the first three innings), and he’s been roughed up in the middle of games (5.68 ERA, .991 OPS against in innings 4-6).
He’s been bad in day games (0-2, 4.50 ERA, 1.90 WHIP). He’s been bad in night games (6.23 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, .939 OPS against).
He seems to lack a killer instinct, as he’s been horrible with 2 outs in an inning (.424 average and 1.109 OPS against) and even worse with 2 outs and runners in scoring position (.526 average and 1.414 OPS against).
So yes, the only reason Jo-Jo Reyes is still in the starting rotation is because he can’t be sent down without possibly losing him.
But guess what?
None of that matters. None of the bad stats, none of the poor performances, none of the awful control. None of that stuff means anything if Reyes goes out tonight and dominates.
The Blue Jays need it, especially after back-to-back rough outings from Drabek and Litsch.
The fans need it, especially after two straight losses to the Yankees.
Jo-Jo Reyes needs it.
And for all the stats presented above that are negative, here is something positive to consider before first pitch tonight: even starts.
In odd numbered starts this season (i.e. Start 1, 3, and 5) Reyes has combined to pitch 9 innings (average of 3 per start), and given up 9 ER, 7 BB, 1 HR, and 21 H. In his two even numbered starts (2 and 4) he has pitched 14 innings (7 per start) and allowed 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 HR, and 12 H.
In other words, there may be hope.
And there better be, or else this could be the end of Mr. Reyes.