When it comes to the July 31st trading deadline, left-handed relievers are in fashion like white pants are for females during the summer. And I must say, the person who said it was fashionable for females to wear white pants during the summer, I would like to personally thank.

I always know it is going to be a good day when I am walking to work and see a bunch of good-looking girls in white pants. Okay, let me control myself here and get back to the topic at hand.

The topic at hand is left-handed relievers, and the left-handed reliever of the moment is the Toronto Blue Jays’ Scott Downs. With the Blue Jays falling from playoff contention once again in the American League, it looks like Downs will be one of the most sought-after relievers on the market.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the 34-year-old out of Louisville, and the teams that could potentially be interested in him.



Over the last three and a half years, Downs has been one of the most consistent left-handed relievers in the game. Over this time span, Downs has a 2.33 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 212.2 innings.

Downs is especially tough against lefties, which is obviously key for a left-handed reliever. Downs is holding lefties to a .208 BAA in 2010.

Downs also does his best when there are men on base, which is key for relievers. When entering the game with runners on base, or when he puts them there himself, Downs is holding batters to a .188 average.

The last pro for Downs is that his contract expires at the end of this year. If a team acquires him, they won’t have to worry about paying him past 2010.



I think the biggest issue teams will have when thinking about acquiring Downs is how is he going to react in a pennant race? Pitching in front of 10,000 people against the Baltimore Orioles is a lot different than pitching in Boston or New York come October.

How is he going to react when he gives up the game-tying home run in the bottom of the eighth at Yankee Stadium or in Texas? I guess there is only one way to find that out, but it is something to consider.

You also have to wonder about Downs’ decreased K/9 rate. His 6.9 K’s/9 is the lowest of his career. Pitchers who have a tough time striking people out usually have a rough go of it in the playoffs.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Downs, lets take a look at what teams might be interested in the former Kentucky Wildcat.


Boston Red Sox

Hideki Okajima isn’t himself, and the Red Sox need another bridge to get to Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon.


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels desperately need bullpen help, and Downs could be the lefty they have been missing since Darren Oliver left.


St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals need starting pitching depth, but Downs would be an upgrade over Dennys Reyes and Trevor Miller.


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