The Toronto Blue Jays are signing Rafael Dolis to help strengthen their bullpen continuing their trend of finding depth in other leagues.
Once again the Toronto Blue Jays are going to Asia to bringing in some pitching help as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and TSN’s Scott Mitchell reported that the team has agreed to a deal with Rafael Dolis.
The right-handed reliever has been pitching the past four seasons with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. While it’s not uncommon to see teams sign players out of Asia, this is an intriguing signing for a couple of reasons.
Dolis could be used in late-inning situations considering he was pitching in a closer role with a 8.2 K/9 innings and a 2.51 ERA. Also with a $1 million base salary and the potential to make more based on bonuses is more than worth it considering how the team has found diamonds in the rough over the last few years.
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Nicholson-Smith says the Blue Jays bullpen will likely include pitchers Ken Giles. At this stage, Anthony Bass, Jordan Romano, Sam Gaviglio, Wilmer Font, Thomas Pannone and A.J. Cole. Seeing that list of pitchers makes it clear that the bullpen could use as much help as it can get especially from players who have experience in different situations.
What will be important for Dolis is trying to keep the ball in the ballpark which is something that can make him successful in Toronto considering he only allowed six during his time in Japan according to Mitchell. Not only does he have that ability but Mitchell has also been capable of mixing in a strong fastball and splitter as Mitchell reported, those should bode well in a potential setup role after letting Ryan Tepera walk this off-season.
Regardless, the Blue Jays will probably want to look at other options although they will have to make some room on the 40-man roster which shouldn’t be too tough considering there are probably some DFA options. Although the Blue Jays would be wise to wait until spring training to see which pitchers are released and go from there.
What do you think about the latest moves? Can the team find more pitching opens? Let us know in the comments below.