Cutting BJ the Right Thing to Do
For a differing viewpoint, see the posting below. In my opinion, cutting BJ Ryan was the right thing to do. Sure he had a 1.04 ERA with a .207 opponents batting average. He also didn’t give opponents anything to hit and Cito quick-hooked him at the first sign of trouble. He walked 6 compared to striking out 3 which is not a pretty number no matter who you are.
BJ’s fall from grace goes further than just control issues. He has lost 2-3-4 mph off his fastball which was not all that fast to begin with. His go to pitch, the slider, had lost a significant amount of bite (not to mention the fact Ryan couldn’t throw it for a strike). So, hitters were sitting on the 85mph fastball if BJ could put it in the zone. It is just not possible to succeed at the MLB level with that type of arsenal.
The Jays already faked an injury for him to try to get him back on track and that didn’t work. With BJ presumably refusing a minor league assignment to get the work in that he so desperately craves, he handcuffed the Jays’ management. It is not possible to carry a deadweight on the roster whether he is making $10 million a season or the league minimum. With almost 50% of the Jays final games being against AL East rivals, the season is not over and it is important to try to stay competitive so that it gives the fans a reason to come to the ballpark.
This is not a move made by a GM concerned for his job security. You would have to be insane to eat back to back (Frank Thomas) $10 million contracts by releasing a player outright – basically admitting “I made a huge mistake”. But that is what JP did, swallowed his pride and cut his losses. The Blue Jays team is better off without BJ Ryan on its roster than it is with him on it and JP proved he is doing the best he can to make this team the best it can be. Inadvertently, it also sends the message to other prospective Jays players: if things aren’t working out, JP is going to look out for my best interests instead of letting his ego get in the way and stick me in the clubhouse closet for 2 or more seasons.