There And Back Again, By Toronto Blue Jays’ Esmil Rogers
So, I’ve got this inkling that just maybe, Esmil Rogers wants to stick on the Toronto Blue Jays for the rest of the season and beyond in the starting rotation.
With a brilliant 7.2-inning, three-hit scoreless gem on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins, you’d have to think that his employers are noticing his efforts. Then again, they’ve seen this story before already. See, from struggling reliever to overachieving temporary starter, and all the way back to someone who’d been figured out and removed from the rotation … Rogers has seen it all this season.
And if his recent efforts are any indication, he’s probably a little tired of the roller coaster ride.
Not to be too much of a downer here, but it wasn’t so long ago that the team had a pretty good reason to cut ties with the righty altogether. He’d put together two straight months with an ERA over seven and a WHIP over 1.75 over 50.1 innings (nine starts, one relief appearance), getting hit at a clip of .336 BAA in June and .340 in July.
The general consensus was that while he did provide some initial hope (2.27/1.04 ERA through 31.2 innings and five starts in June), he, like Chien-Ming Wang and others before him, was due to get off the carousel.
But then the Blue Jays ran out of arms to put on the mound, and Rogers was saved by the bell.
Having to make an impression on the team with only limited opportunities isn’t easy to begin with for most pitchers, let alone someone having to come back all the way from rock bottom. Yet, with Sunday’s outing following another stellar September turn in which he threw 6.1 innings of one-hit scoreless ball with five strikeouts, you might say he’s well on his way.
It’s just 14 total innings of work, sure, and there are plenty of starts to suggest that it might not last if it were April, but the beauty of this opportunity is that the 28-year old is getting the chance to simply make a final impression — which is to say he can leave it all out on the table.
And how better to do it with a 0.00/0.43 ERA/WHIP and .089 BAA to start the final month of the season?