Jays GM Atkins not wor­ried about Osuna

The Chatham Daily News - - SPORTS - STEVE BUFFERY POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

CLEAR­WA­TER, FLA. — Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins firmly be­lieves that too many peo­ple were closed-minded about the club’s closer Roberto Osuna last sea­son — and may have pushed the panic but­ton pre­ma­turely.

In many ways, Osuna had a great year. He was added to the All-Star Game, was tied for fourth in MLB in saves (39) and be­came the first player in fran­chise his­tory to record back-to­back sea­sons with at least 35 saves. All at the age of 22.

How­ever, Osuna also led the Ma­jors in blown saves with 10, and missed some time mid-sea­son with undis­closed anx­i­ety is­sues, also leav­ing the team for a spell near the end of the sea­son to re­turn to his na­tive Mex­ico be­cause he had just be­come a fa­ther.

But Atkins feels the blown saves and the anx­i­ety is­sues were overblown and he fully ex­pects Osuna to blos­som again in 2018.

“You know it’s in­ter­est­ing about Roberto,” said Atkins. “He had a great year, he had one of the bet­ter years of all the re­liev­ers in baseball and I think a lot of at­ten­tion got placed on the blown saves and a lot of at­ten­tion got placed on the dis­cus­sions in and around the game he didn’t pitch in Kansas City. But if you look at the strike outs, the lack of walks, the lack of hits, he’s such a re­mark­able latein­ning, elite re­liever that ... man we’re very glad he’s here.”

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