Roberto Osuna did an excellent job as a 20-year-old rookie out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.58 ERA and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 innings while notching 20 saves. He made a strong case to open 2016 as the closer, but Friday’s acquisition of Drew Storen has suddenly thrown his role into question.
Storen has had extensive closing experience in the past, so the Blue Jays will weigh their options for now:
It’s worth noting that former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said back in October that the team still envisioned Osuna as a starter in the long-term. While Anthopoulos is no longer with the organization, it will be interesting to see if they revisit things now. They are already planning to stretch out Aaron Sanchez as a starter in the spring.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Storen said in a conference call today that his struggles after the Jonathan Papelbon trade last season were due to him not getting enough rest between outings while pitching in a set-up role. He didn’t come out and say it, but he’d clearly prefer to close.