Ex-files: Rasmus, Syndergaard star in first round of playoffs

Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus is the first player ever to accept a qualifying offer. (Kathy Willens/AP)

The Toronto Blue Jays shouldn’t have many regrets from a personnel standpoint after their best season in franchise history since 1993.

The team advanced to the ALCS following a wild five-game series with the Texas Rangers, but it must’ve been a bit strange for GM Alex Anthopoulos to watch former Blue Jays such as Colby Rasmus and Noah Syndergaard having prominent roles in the post-season.

This isn’t a hindsight thing. We’ve been doing this series throughout the 2015 season so why not continue to look at promient former Blue Jays in the playoff version of the Ex-Files?

Here’s how seven former Blue Jays fared in the opening round of the post-season:

Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros: The Houston Astros were unable to advance to the ALCS, but it surely wasn’t the fault of the former Blue Jays centre fielder. Rasmus homered in three straight games to start the post-season, including a critical long bomb against the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game. Including the Wild Card game, Rasmus finished the playoffs with a .412/.583/1.176 batting line with four runs scored, four home runs, six RBI and seven strikeouts.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: The 6-foot-6 right-hander was a key component to the Mets’ NLDS victory. Syndergaard struck out nine batters over 6.1 innings (eight of his first 36 pitches reached 100 mph or more) in his first-ever playoff start, but he registered a loss after allowing three earned runs with four walks.

His biggest moment came in the deciding Game 5 when he came out of the bullpen in the seventh inning for his first-ever big-league relief appearance, striking out two to wrap up a scoreless inning with a nasty combination of fastballs and breaking balls.

Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets: The former Blue Jays catching prospect had a most underwhelming offensive performance in his first-ever playoff series, not registering a hit in four of five games against Los Angeles. However, d’Arnaud had an impressive effort in Game 3, going 3-for-5 with three runs, three RBI and a big two-run shot off of veteran lefty Brett Anderson.

Alex Rios, Kansas City Royals: The much-maligned former Blue Jays outfielder made his mark in his first-ever playoff appearance. Rios registered two hits in the first four games of the ALDS before a strong showing in Game 5, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI to help the Royals eliminate Houston.

Sam Dyson, Texas Rangers: Dyson opened off the series on a solid note, throwing three scoreless innings in relief in the first four games of the ALDS, before Game 5 where he had the most forgettable moment of his career.

With the game tied 3-3 in the seventh inning, Dyson left a pitch over the middle of the plate, which was drilled out of the park by Jose Bautista and the mistake ultimately gave the Blue Jays the series win.

Dyson also caused a brief incident following the seventh inning when he had words with Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, which caused the benches to clear while the two got in each other’s faces.

Following the game, the Blue Jays’ fourth-round draft pick in 2010 took exception with Bautista’s bat flip and reaction to his home run, which drew a strong response from Sportsnet’s Sid Seixeiro.

Some may forget the Blue Jays drafted Dyson in Alex Anthopoulos’ first year running the club. He was the first Jays’ pick of that class to make it to the majors, but the Blue Jays DFA’d him in January of 2013 to make room on the 40-man roster for Mark DeRosa.

Kelly Johnson, New York Mets: The veteran second baseman didn’t play a huge role for the Mets, but appeared as a pinch hitter in four of New York’s five games, racking up one hit in four at-bats with one strikeout and no walks.

Jake Marisnick, Houston Astros: Marisnick, who was originally dealt from Toronto to Miami in the blockbuster trade with the Marlins prior to the 2013 season, made two starts in centre field against K.C. and regularly appeared as a bench player throughout his first post-season series. In total, he tallied a .429 average with a 1.000 OPS including three hits, one double in seven at-bats. Real good sample size, right?

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