Chris Archer Returning To The Mound | Can He Add Value To The AL East-Leading Rays?

Chris Archer Returning To The Mound | Can He Add Value To The AL East-Leading Rays?

Chris Archer is nearing a return after being sidelined for almost three months.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Archer is “feeling good and is eyeing an early July return from the injured list.”

This is a sign the Rays certainly wanted to see from Archer. Having another healthy and potentially lethal arm in an already-solid pitching rotation can be a huge benefit.

The Rays have had a lot of success without Archer, establishing themselves as the top team in the AL East. So where will the former All-Star fit in when he makes his return?

 

 

On the season, he is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA.

Before his injury, Archer made just two appearances. His first was out of the bullpen and his second appearance was a start. 

In his lone start of the season against the New York Yankees, he had a solid outing. The MLBbro threw 2.1 innings, striking out four and giving up no runs before leaving the game because of the injury.

“I thought it was just something that kind of comes and goes, because things come and go as you start,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times regarding the injury. “But it lingered, and I found myself altering how I was throwing a little and it just wasn’t worth it.”

“Fortunately, it’s nothing serious. But there’s definitely some tightness in there that I need to get out. So I’m glad that we took the precautions that we did. And I’m really glad the bullpen stepped up.”

Chris Archer Returns To Tampa Bay, Hoping To Reboot & Rebrand His Once Electrifying Career 

 

The two-time All-Star can make an immediate impact once he returns and silence all the critics that think he doesn’t have anything left in the tank. Even though his numbers have not been up to par the past few seasons, he can still go out there and get the job done on the mound.

Especially playing for a team that can make it back to the World Series. They will need all the pitching they can get.

If he can continue to build off his last performance, there’s no question he will add value to the rotation.

The Rays will find the right spot for Archer once he returns and they’ll keep a close eye on him as the time approaches to formulate a playoff roster.

Going into the 2021 season, the 32-year-old was ready to contribute to a team that was coming off its first World Series appearances since 2008.

Archer’s best season came in 2015 when he made his first all-star team and finished the season with a 12-13 record with a 3.23 ERA.

 

 

He made 34 starts that season and finished with 252 strikeouts, the most he’s had in a season.

Even though his career has been a roller coaster ride, he’s still in a position to help his team go deep into the playoffs if used correctly. 

Once he makes his return, Archer will be an MLBbro you want to keep tabs on. 

Marcus Semien & George Springer: Toronto Blue Jays Invested In Soul To Fill The Holes

Marcus Semien & George Springer: Toronto Blue Jays Invested In Soul To Fill The Holes

The Toronto Blue Jays’ 32-28 record last season earned the franchise its first postseason appearance in four years, and some lofty expectations for 2021. 

Adding 3x All-Star outfielder George Springer along with veteran shortstop Marcus Semien has only bolstered them. 

Semien didn’t waste any time making his impact felt, by homering on Opening Day, and then again on Monday. 

 

After seven years with the Houston Astros, a six-year, $150M contract lured Springer (2017 World Series MVP) to the AL East. Springer’s debut was delayed due to a Grade 2 oblique strain that put him on the IL to start the season, though the Jays expect him to join the lineup any day now. 

 

So the multi-tooled Soul Patroller can do more of this…

 

There aren’t too many questions about Springer’s durability. From 2016-20 he played in almost 90 percent of the Astros’ games. He’s known for being one the toughest players in the sport. 

 

He remains one of the most productive hitters in the game too. During last season’s shortened schedule, Springer finished in the American League’s top ten in home runs, runs batted in, and runs scored. 

READ MORE: Black Knights: Astros’ George Springer And The Evolution Of The Leadoff Hitter

We mentioned Toronto’s baby-booming infield, but Springer also has some outfield mates who can cause damage. He’s a seamless fit in an outfield that returns Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and Randal Grichuk. The trio combined to bat .289 with 39 homers, 102 RBI, and scored 99 times. 

Springer is excited to be joining the Blue Jays young core, he and Semien will be the only players over 30 years old in the regular rotation. 

The Astros lost 92 games in Springer’s first year in the majors. Surrounded by another collection of rising stars, he was holding a World Series trophy three seasons later. 

He sees something familiar with Toronto. 

 

Brought to the Great White North on a one-year, $18 million deal, Marcus Semien has both a new team and a new position in Toronto. 

With Bo Bichette holding it down at short, Semien slides over to second base. The Jays instantly get better defensively, good news for a team that finished in the bottom third of the AL in fielding.

Semien led all American League shortstops in fielding % in 2019 (.981). Last season, his numbers took a slight dip, but the move to second provides a great opportunity for a bounce back campaign. 

The addition of Semien deepens the roster. As much as the Blue Jays may value Semien’s defensive acumen, what Toronto and its fans are really hoping that they get the 2019 Marcus Semien at the plate. 

After his best season in the bigs, Semien finished third in the voting for AL Most Valuable Player, and second in Wins Above Replacement (8.6). 

He led the Jays with three homers during Spring Training, though those accounted for one-third of his hit total. 

 

If Toronto is getting the Semien that played all 162 games for the Oakland A’s while batting .285 with 33 home runs, 92 RBI, 123 runs scored, and an .892 OPS, the Blue Jays could have one of the elite offensive middle infields in all of baseball. 

Last season was more of a struggle for the 30-year-old, some of which has to be attributed to the disjointed nature of the COVID-inflicted season. He did get better as the season went along, raising his OBP by 28 percent and his OPS by 23 percent from July to September and still finishing with a positive WAR figure. 

If Toronto is to reach its potential, Marcus Semien and George Springer should be major catalysts. 

For a Blue Jays franchise that hasn’t been to the World Series in almost 30 years, and that spent nearly $200 million in free agency, they have to be.