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Brian Tallet is the proverbial Swiss Army Knife of the Blue Jays pitching staff. He can toss a couple of innings of solid relief, take over for a struggling starter in the long relief role, or step in as a dependable arm in the starting rotation.
Tallet has spent most of his major league stint as a relief pitcher, but he actually began his career as a starter with the Indians. Since then, he has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, most recently settling in as one of the candidates for the Blue Jays starting rotation.
Now we stand at a crossroads – either Tallet makes his way onto the 25 man roster as a starting pitcher, or a reliever. So it begs the question – is Brian Tallet better as a starter or reliever?
The answer might surprise you.
Honestly, I was expecting Tallet’s numbers as a starter to be through the roof after last season. It was no surprise that he had some control problems and also had a tendency to give up quite a few long balls.
However, if you average things out, Brian Tallet is more effective as a reliever … but not by much.
Aside from his ERA being a full run higher as a starting pitcher, Tallet’s career statistics are very similar whether he was starting the game or throwing from the ‘pen.
Prior to Brett Cecil’s “kitchen-type incident”, personally I would much rather have Brian Tallet break camp as a relief pitcher rather than one of the starting five. Now that plans have suddenly changed, it looks like Tallet is the odds-on favourite to snag the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
That being said, I think that Tallet is still best served in the bullpen. With so many young hurlers on the mound, he’s probably going to rack up a ton of relief innings anyway.
Why not give the chance to somebody like Dana Eveland or maybe even Lance Broadway? If Dustin McGowan isn’t ready by the time Opening Day rolls around, there are plenty of other guys that could easily occupy the fifth starter’s spot.
It’s not like the Blue Jays don’t have anything to lose … except for more games.