Toronto Blue Jays: Father Time Catches Up with Mark Buehrle


Mark Buehrle has solidified his status as a vital part of the Toronto Blue Jays’ rotation over the past two seasons

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Since joining the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013, Mark Buehrle has been the mark of consistency. His stuff isn’t electric, but he’s a smart pitcher and capable of assuming a heavy workload.

Buehrle has led the starting rotation in era for the past two seasons, topping 200 innings of work on both occasions and putting up at least 12 wins. When the Jays needed someone tough on the mound, he was there guy.

This season began in a similar fashion for Buehrle. He quickly raced his way to 14 wins and was actually on pace for his best season as a Jay until things began to unravel in mid-August. His velocity dropped and he hasn’t pitched more than six innings in a game since August 13th. Sensing something was wrong, the Jays even played around with their starting rotation this past week to ensure Buehrle got more time to rest between starts.

Aug 25, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) throws during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The result of all that extra rest wasn’t pretty. Buehrle got rocked yesterday by the lowly Boston Red Sox for his shortest outing of the season. He was tagged for nine hits and five runs (all earned) over just 3.1 innings of work.

Buehrle’s struggles come at an inopportune time for the Jays. They’re trying to stay ahead of the New York Yankees for the divisional lead in the American League East and comes as the Jays are trying to figure out how youngsters Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman can be best used in the rotation.

In a matter of weeks, the Jays have seen the second-half surprise steadiness of their rotation quickly sour into uncertainty. Beyond David Price, R.A. Dickey and Marco Estrada, the Jays now have two potential holes in their rotation to fill.

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    For Buehrle, his current struggles may also see him miss the 200-innings pitched mark for the first time since 2000 – his rookie campaign. With reduced velocity, less stamina and 16 years of MLB service under his belt, Father Time might finally be catching up to the 36-year-old Buehrle.

    This couldn’t come at a worse time for Buehrle – could Father Time spare just a little more time? Say an extra month or two?

    What are your thoughts on the Buehrle situation? Was yesterday just a hiccup for the veteran southpaw or a further sign of trouble? Should the Jays rest him again or just roll with him? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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