Jesse Litsch

Jesse Litsch
Jesse Litsch

Toronto Blue Jays — No. 51
Born: March 9, 1985 (1985-03-09) (age 26)
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 15, 2007 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
(through 2011 Season)
Win–Loss     27–27
Earned run average     4.16
Strikeouts     239
WHIP     1.31

Jesse Allen Litsch (born March 9, 1985, in Pinellas Park, Florida) is an American pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball. He is 6 ft 1 in tall and weighs 225 pounds.

Formerly a batboy for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays,[1] he was drafted in the 24th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. He had a career 3.49 ERA, primarily as a starter in 43 games over 234.1 IP during his first two years in the minor leagues. He then started the 2007 season with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats where he posted a 5–1 record and a 0.96 ERA over 6 starts. He allowed 22 hits in 37.2 IP of work, striking out 28 while walking only 7.


Professional career

On May 15, 2007, Litsch made his Major League debut with the Blue Jays, filling in for the injured Roy Halladay. Over 8.2 innings (the most innings pitched by any Blue Jay in his debut), Litsch allowed only 4 hits, with 2 walks and 1 run while recording an amazing 21 of his 26 outs via groundouts. Litsch became the first Jays pitcher to win his debut since Gustavo Chacin beat the New York Yankees on September 20, 2004.[2] As a result of his performance, Litsch earned three more starts with the Jays. He was demoted back to AA after posting a 0–3 record with a 19.62 ERA in those three starts.

After yet another injury to A. J. Burnett, the Blue Jays recalled Litsch and he started against Boston on July 15, 2007. He yielded one run on 9 hits over 6.2 innings with 2 K's and 1 walk, defeating Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox 2–1.

He came home to Tampa Bay on July 31, going 6.2 innings, only giving up 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2, with no earned runs. Litsch finished his first year in the majors 7–9 with a 3.89 ERA and 50 K/36 BB over 20 starts.


On May 24, 2008, the same day that he pitched his first complete game shutout,[3] he also surpassed Jimmy Key's former franchise record by recording 38 consecutive innings without walking a batter (Key's former mark was 34 13). In 2008 he threw cutters 43.4% of the time, the highest rate in the majors.[4]

On April 14, 2009, he was sent to the 15-day DL because of a right forearm strain.

On June 9 it was announced that Litsch would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. He made his first major league start since surgery on June 13, 2010 against the Colorado Rockies.[5]

Litsch struggled against the Colorado Rockies in his return from injury. He lasted only 2.1 innings and allowed 7 runs on 9 hits.

He regained his previous form in his next start against the San Francisco Giants on June 19 by going 7 solid innings allowing only 3 hits in a 3-0 win. Litsch threw 94 pitches in the start, and attributed his success to throwing more 4 seam fastballs and sinkers in comparison to too many cutters like he did in his previous start.


He was named the number 5 starter for the 2011 season. He made his 2011 debut on April 6 against the Oakland Athletics, getting the win and giving up 6 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 7.

Pitch repertoire

Litsch's main pitch is his four-seam fastball (87-93 mph), and can throw a two-seam fastball with considerable movement. He often uses a cutter (85-89 mph) and a curveball (73-80 mph). He struggles with command of his changeup (79-82 mph) [6].


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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