Osuna with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016
|Toronto Blue Jays – No. 54|
February 7, 1995 |
Juan José Ríos, Sinaloa, Mexico
|April 8, 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
(through July 24, 2017)
|Earned run average||2.49|
|Career highlights and awards|
Roberto Osuna Quintero (born February 7, 1995) is a Mexican professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). Osuna was signed by the Blue Jays out of Mexico as a 16-year-old, and played three seasons in their minor league organization. On April 8, 2015, he became the youngest pitcher to appear in a game for the organization, and the first player born in 1995 to play in Major League Baseball.
Osuna made his professional baseball debut with the Diablos Rojos del México of the Mexican League in 2011. In 13 appearances totaling 19 2⁄3 innings, he pitched to a 0–1 record, 5.49 earned run average (ERA), and 12 strikeouts. In August 2011, Osuna was acquired by the Blue Jays for $1.5 million. He began the 2012 season with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League, but was promoted to the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League after posting a 1–0 record with a 1.50 earned run average in seven appearances (four starts). He made his Canadians debut on July 28, 2012, striking out a franchise-record 13 batters over five innings pitched. In total, Osuna pitched 43 2⁄3 innings in 2012, and posted a 2–0 record, 2.27 ERA, and 49 strikeouts.
On January 29, 2013, Osuna was ranked 90th on MLB's Top 100 Prospects list. He started the 2013 season with the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. On May 9, 2013, it was announced that Osuna had torn his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery. He met with Dr. James Andrews, and was advised to rest and rehab the injury, rather than undergo surgery. Osuna returned from the disabled list on June 9, and pitched five shutout innings for Lansing. Despite his attempt to rehab his elbow, Osuna underwent Tommy John surgery in late June. On July 26, he was ranked 58th on MLB's revised Top 100 Prospects list, and the number two prospect in the Blue Jays organization.
Osuna made his first rehab appearance since the procedure on July 8, 2014, and pitched one inning for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. He was then promoted to the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays and made seven starts before the end of the season, posting a 0–2 record, a 6.55 ERA, and 30 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. In the 2015 preseason prospect rankings, he was named the number six prospect in the Blue Jays organization by MLB.
Toronto Blue Jays
Osuna was invited to spring training in 2015 as a non-roster invitee. While initially not expecting to have any chance at making the major league team out of camp, Osuna impressed Blue Jays management through the first half of the spring. On March 22, he started a game against the Tampa Bay Rays and pitched 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings. After Steve Delabar was optioned to minor league camp on March 26, it was reported that Osuna would likely make the Opening Day roster as a reliever. His position on the roster was confirmed on March 31. Osuna made his Major League debut in a game against the New York Yankees on April 8, 2015, striking out Alex Rodriguez and getting Stephen Drew to flyout. In making his debut, Osuna became the youngest pitcher to appear in a Major League game for Toronto, at 20 years and 60 days old. Through the first month of the season, Osuna became the most reliable arm in the bullpen for the Blue Jays, posting a 1.38 ERA through his first 10 appearances. He earned his first win on May 18, pitching 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings in a 10–6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In doing so, Osuna became the youngest pitcher to earn a win for the Blue Jays, at 20 years and 100 days old. He earned his first career save on June 22, closing out an 8–5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. On August 7, Osuna became the youngest player in MLB history to record an extra-innings save, when he closed out a 2–1 win over the New York Yankees in the tenth inning. Osuna finished the 2015 regular season with a 1–6 record, 20 saves, 2.58 ERA, and 75 strikeouts in 69 2⁄3 innings pitched.
In the 2015 American League Division Series, Osuna recorded a five-out save in the fifth and final game, and in doing so became the youngest pitcher in American League history to record a save in the postseason, as well as the second-youngest to do so in MLB history, behind Don Gullett in 1970. Osuna pitched in 4 of the 5 ALDS games, and did not allow a baserunner in 5 2⁄3 innings pitched. He finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year, receiving two second-place votes and two third-place votes.
During the offseason, the Blue Jays acquired Washington Nationals reliever Drew Storen, who had been their closer for part of the 2015 season. After a competition between Osuna and Storen for the closer's role in spring training, manager John Gibbons announced on March 30 that Osuna would begin the season as the Blue Jays closer. He earned his first save of the season on April 3 (Opening Day), sealing a 5–3 win for Marcus Stroman. At the age of 21 years, 56 days, he became the youngest pitcher in MLB history to record an Opening Day save. On August 13, Osuna closed out a 4–2 win over the Houston Astros to earn the 46th save of his career, which tied the mark set by Terry Forster for saves recorded before the age of 22. He would break the tie with Forster on August 17, saving a 7–4 win over the New York Yankees. Osuna earned his 30th save of the 2016 season on September 4, becoming the 11th pitcher in franchise history to record 30 saves in a season. The save was also the 50th of his career, making him the youngest pitcher in MLB history to reach 50 saves. Osuna finished the 2016 regular season with a 4–3 record, 2.68 ERA, 82 strikeouts, and 36 saves in 74 innings pitched. In the postseason, he added nine innings and did not allow a run.
Osuna was diagnosed with a cervical spasm late in spring training and started the 2017 season on the 10-day disabled list. On June 24, it was revealed that Osuna was dealing with an anxiety issue. To that point in the season, he had recorded 19 saves and a 2.48 ERA, and had become the youngest player in MLB history to reach 75 career saves. Osuna made his return to the mound the following day, pitching the final inning of the Blue Jays' 8–2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. On July 7, Osuna was added to the American League roster for the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
At the age of 12, Osuna quit school to help support his family, picking vegetables with his father, also named Roberto, who pitched in the Mexican League for 22 seasons and taught him to pitch after work. Osuna's uncle, Antonio, pitched in Major League Baseball for 11 seasons, mostly with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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