Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Reinforcments have arrived

The Jays recently acquired Dirk Hayhurst from waivers off of San Diego. He`s a 27 year old right handed pitcher who can start or pitch in relief. He spent most of his time in AAA, where he was a reliever. This year in 84 innings of AAA (10 as a starter) Hayhurst was 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He had 98 strikeouts and 28 walks, which is an impressive 3.5:1 K:BB ratio. He had a solid home run rate, with his only flaw being he`s a flyball pitcher. Not an extreme flyball pitcher, but one nonetheless.

Hayhurst spent a little time in the majors, but while he was up he was pretty brutal. It was only 16 innings, but it would have made the 2006 Josh Towers look good.

According to FanGraphs, he throws an 89 MPH fastball, a curve, slider & change up. The curve sounds like his go to pitch (he used it 25% of the time, the most of any secondary pitch), although he spent a bit of time in relief which explains him sticking with 2 pitches. The slider was more of a "show me" type pitch, as he didn't use it very often, while his change is probably his third best pitch.

I should note that all the Fangraph numbers were taken in the majors, where he pitched 16 innings. I couldn't find his minor league numbers as far as pitch percentage or speed goes, but I don't think that it would be a significant difference.

His minor league numbers this year are quite impressive, especially when you realize he spent his time in the PCL, a known hitters league. Hayhurst was pretty disappointing in his first stint in the majors, but maybe down the line he could surprise as a reliever in the pen.

Normally I`d be a little more enthusiastic about a reliever with good minor league stats, even if the major league performance is less than desirable. Unfortunately, Kevin Towers is a normally a very good judge of talent when it comes to pitching, and with an 89 MPH fastball it`s hard to imagine the 27 year old Hayhurst being successful. Still, I`d love to see him succeed and be the Carlson of 09.

He`ll probably start the year in AAA, and we shouldn`t expect to see him in the majors unless a wave of injuries occur. As of right now the Jays have too much depth in the bullpen for Hayhurst to be anything other than a 7th man in the pen.


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