Ex-Files: Morrow in a good place, Grilli mocked, Rasmus walks away

Voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, Buck Martinez joins The Jeff Blair show to offer his take on the future of Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada and whether he see's him on the team next season.

Our fifth instalment of the 2017 Ex-Files boasts several new names who’ve been added to the filing cabinet.

The passing of the July trade deadline, some surprise performances, and a surprise departure from MLB have kept the list interesting.

Here’s a look at how some former Toronto Blue Jays are faring around the league …

Past 2017 Ex-Files: April | May | June | July

Brandon Morrow
2.16 ERA | 25 innings | 32 strikeouts | 4 walks | 97.7 m.p.h. average fastball

Here’s a name Blue Jays fans can’t help but root for, even if he’s playing for another team. Morrow has rebounded from various injuries and ailments to find himself in an enviable position: reliever for the best team in baseball. The 33-year-old signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers in January and has been lights out since his late May promotion to the bigs. He’s also throwing harder than at any point in his MLB career.

Morrow’s on pace to pitch his most innings since 2013, when he logged 54.1 for the Blue Jays. (If you’re feeling reminiscent about Morrow’s bittersweet time in Toronto, check out this superb story from Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.)

R.A. Dickey
4.03 ERA | 134 innings | 93 strikeouts | 53 walks | 83.1 m.p.h. average fastball

Dickey is on a one-year, $8-million contract that’s turning out to be some kind of bargain for the Braves. Since allowing eight runs against the Nationals on June 13, the 42-year-old has kicked his season into high gear. In the nine starts that have followed, Dickey has a 2.20 ERA and .244 opponents’ batting average over 56.2 innings. Hitters have posted a .634 OPS against Dickey in that span.

Jason Grilli
6.16 ERA | 30.2 innings | 37 strikeouts | 15 walks | 92.9 m.p.h. average fastball

Grilli was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and traded to the Rangers in early July. Since joining Texas, the right-hander’s been mostly used in low-leverage situations and hasn’t fared much better: in 10 games with his new club, Grilli’s allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 10 innings while striking out 14 and walking six. To be fair, most of his earned runs came in one outing; an eventful game in which Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton mocked Grilli’s famous fist-pump celebration.

Edwin Encarnacion
22 HR | .250/.369/.464 | 1.1 WAR

The last time we checked in on Encarnacion, he was coming off a torrid June in which he posted a 1.042 OPS. He has since come down to Earth, slashing .219/.353/.421 with a .774 OPS and five homers since July 1.

David Price
3.82 ERA | 66 innings | 63 strikeouts | 22 walks | 94.2 m.p.h. average fastball

Price is back on the DL with his second elbow issue of the season and it’s not even the major talking point surrounding the left-hander. That’s how strange his second year with the Red Sox has been.

Details recently emerged from Price’s airplane confrontation with Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley and they do not paint the former Blue Jay in a positive light. Shortly after that story broke, Price was placed on the DL and has since seen his throwing program halted due to general soreness.

Jeff Hoffman
5.03 ERA | 82.1 innings | 71 strikeouts | 28 walks | 94.6 m.p.h. average fastball

It’s been just over two years since the Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki, so it makes sense to look at Hoffman, the main prospect who went to Colorado in the deal. The right-hander’s one of three rookies in the Rockies rotation (four if you count Kyle Freeland, who just went on the DL) and has rebounded well from an ugly July that saw him allow 25 runs in 27 innings. Over two August starts, the 24-year-old’s surrendered just three runs over 13 innings.

Joe Smith
2.97 ERA | 39.1 innings | 54 strikeouts | 10 walks | 89 m.p.h. average fastball

Smith’s appeared in just three games since being traded on July 31, allowing one hit and striking out three over 3.2 frames. That small sample size is sure to grow quickly as manager Terry Francona figures to task Smith with some big innings. The Cleveland bullpen has a 2.98 ERA that ranks second in MLB, but is currently without Andrew Miller (10-day DL, knee) and Boone Logan (60-day DL, lat). As well, primary right-hander Bryan Shaw has struggled of late.

Chris Colabello
10 HR | .240/.333/.376

Colabello was released by Cleveland in July and soon caught on with the Brewers, who signed him to a minor-league deal. Since joining Milwaukee’s triple-A club in Colorado Springs, Colabello’s production has increased to the tune of four homers and an .881 OPS over 20 games. He’s still looking for his first taste of MLB action since April 20, 2016, his last game before a PED suspension.

Francisco Liriano
5.98 ERA | 84.2 innings | 75 strikeouts | 46 walks | 92.6 m.p.h. average fastball

Liriano has appeared in only three games since being traded to his new home, and he picked up losses in the first two—first against the Rays and then against the Blue Jays. “It might be tough for me the first couple of weeks, but I think I’m going to get used to it,” Liriano said of his role change. “I’ve been there before.”

Colby Rasmus
9 HR | .281/.318/.579| 1.2 WAR

On July 13 the Rays announced that Rasmus would be stepping away from baseball. Specific details have not surfaced, with neither Rasmus nor his agent providing public comments. Chaim Bloom, senior vice-president of baseball operations for the Rays, was a guest on a recent episode of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast and said Rasmus’s time on the DL provided him a chance to reflect.

“I want to respect his privacy … but I think he was able to take some time and just think about how he was prioritizing different things in his life and ultimately made the decision to step away from the game,” Bloom said. “As much as we miss him, you have to respect that. So many people in this game since I’ve gotten in this game always tell me, ‘Life is bigger than baseball.’”

Not to be forgotten is that Rasmus was quite productive when on the field this year with 1.3 WAR.

Brett Lawrie

It’s been a while since we included anything about Lawrie here, and quite frankly, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t fill you in on the latest.

This doesn’t need any introduction. Just sit back and click below to see the free agent Canadian’s interesting method of consuming protein powder.

Tuesdays …. #Back-BackScoopPiece #Locked #UrNot #ImCookin #P4 #SkinItches #NeedItTho #MajorKey

869 Likes, 93 Comments – brett lawrie (@blawrie1515) on Instagram: “Tuesdays …. #Back-BackScoopPiece #Locked #UrNot #ImCookin #P4 #SkinItches #NeedItTho #MajorKey”

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