When the Toronto Blue Jays completed the big offseason trades with the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets, fan excitement was at an all-time high. The poor results this season have been a constant reminder that the trades may not have been the best idea.
Should Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson have come to Rogers Centre in the first place?
Rogers Centre is a place where the balls fly out of the park with ease. Over the course of this season, allowing home runs has been a primary reason for the team’s woes. Were the Blue Jays’ new pitchers home run liabilities before they arrived? Or has this been a phenomenon of just three pitchers having bad seasons all at the same time?
The three new Blue Jays pitchers have given up 37 home runs at home and 20 on the road together. Dickey has the largest spread with 18 at home and six on the road. While these numbers show a clear difference, a slight increase is to be expected for any pitcher who makes his new home in Toronto.
Looking at career HR/FB rates for this trio, Buehrle has a career rate of 9.9 percent, Dickey at 12.8 and Johnson at 7.2. This season, Buehrle owns a 10.2 percent mark, Dickey is at 13.3 and Johnson is at a whopping 19.2. It is clear that Johnson has a massive increase so far this season. This makes sense considering Johnson is having a terrible season, but Buehrle and Dickey have shown minimal increase to their HR/FB rates so far this season.
These home run statistics confirmed what I have felt all season long; there is no one thing that can be pointed to and say the home park is the problem. I don’t believe the “Rogers Centre Effect” is the main factor in ruining all three of these player’s seasons. Starting pitching has been collectively bad and inconsistent.
All fans can hope for going into next season is that 2013 was a bad fluke year for everyone, and the players will return next spring demonstrating the form the fans expect them to play with.