J.P. Howell
J.P. Howell
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for J.P. Howell in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Blue Jays in January of 2017.
To pitch for independent team
PFree Agent  
May 29, 2018
Howell will play for the San Rafael Pacifics in 2018, John Shea of SFGate.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Howell appeared in 16 games for the Blue Jays last season, accruing a 7.36 ERA and 1.82 WHIP with six strikeouts across 11 innings. He'll try his luck in an independent league, although he stated his goal is to return to the major leagues before he calls it a career.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-11%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .294 128 23 7 35 4 1 3
Since 2016vs Right .272 144 27 15 34 8 1 3
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .273 25 1 3 6 1 0 1
2017vs Right .304 27 5 4 7 5 0 1
2016vs Left .299 103 22 4 29 3 1 2
2016vs Right .265 117 22 11 27 3 1 2
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-58%
ERA at Home
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-37%
ERA at Home
2016
 
 
-77%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 2.63 1.35 27.1 2 1 0 7.9 3.0 0.0
Since 2016Away 6.29 1.57 34.1 0 1 0 6.8 3.4 1.6
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 6.14 1.50 7.1 1 0 0 6.1 3.7 0.0
2017Away 9.82 2.45 3.2 0 1 0 2.5 9.8 4.9
2016Home 1.35 1.30 20.0 1 1 0 8.6 2.7 0.0
2016Away 5.87 1.47 30.2 0 0 0 7.3 2.6 1.2
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Howell stumbled in the final season of his four-year tenure with the Dodgers, posting the worst marks in ERA (4.09), FIP (3.50), WHIP (1.40) and strikeout rate (20 percent) of his time in Los Angeles. He managed to eat innings and stay healthy for the year, but he was the Dodgers fourth lefty at best by season's end. A troubling sign for the 33-year-old is that he lost more than a tick on his sinker between 2015 and 2016, going from 87.6 to 85.9 mph on average -- his worst mark since his rookie year. Curiously, he allowed a reverse platoon split after spending most of his career as a lefty specialist, which is unfortunately more of a signal that he's less able to get lefties out than any improvement against right-handers. Now a member of the Blue Jays relief corps, he'll look to regain his old self and step back into more high-leverage innings in 2017.
Howell recorded his third consecutive solid season for the Dodgers in 2015. The fact that right-handed hitters batted .318 against him was a bit troubling, but Howell was consistently able to work out of jams and he allowed just three home runs over the course of the season. His 3.40 FIP gives the appearance that Howell wasn't quite as good as his ERA, though if you look at his last four years, Howell has been consistently able to outperform his FIP, usually by a full run or more. Howell averages just 87.1 mph with his fastball, but he's been consistently in that range throughout his career. He exercised his 2016 player option and will return to a Dodger bullpen that featured little consistency outside of he and closer Kenley Jansen last season. Howell has recorded just one save in three seasons as a Dodger, and there is little reason to think that will change in 2016.
In a bullpen where several relievers fell short of returning ample value, Howell had another steady season for the Dodgers while piling up 68 appearances. The recipe remains the same; Howell misses his share of bats and induces a heavy supply of grounders, minimizing the impact of his free passes (4.6 BB/9 in 2014). Howell's value also comes from his ability to capably handle right-handed hitters, as his line against them has been better than his career mark (.238/.337/.386) in each of the past two seasons. Look for more of the same in 2015 as Howell figures to be part of the bridge to Kenley Jansen in the late innings, but his roto value will likely be limited to leagues that reward holds.
Howell was a solid one-year acquisition for the Dodgers, recording a 2.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 62 innings out of the Dodgers' bullpen. Though a 3.3 BB/9 is far from spectacular, the left-hander has improved his control over the last couple years. Now that he's proven he's over his 2010 shoulder surgery, he should remain a steady option as a primary lefty for the late innings. The Dodgers retained his services by signing him to a two-year deal in December.
Howell was once again a steady asset in the Rays' bullpen as a situational lefty and in the late innings. He bounced back from a tough 2011 and pitched in 55 games and posted a 3.04 ERA. Being a full season removed from major shoulder surgery, Howell cut down his walk rate going from 5.3 to 3.9 BB/9. Though he is a control pitcher, a good sign to his shoulder recovery is that his average fastball velocity was near the highest mark of his career. After a successful season, Howell should return to the middle relief and sixth or seventh-inning role after signing with the Dodgers in January.
Howell struggled in his first season back from shoulder surgery, finishing the season with a 6.16 ERA and 1.565 a WHIP. The big problem for Howell was his lack of control as evidenced by his 5.28 BB/9IP mark. The good news is he made it through the season without any setbacks with his shoulder and he should be able to work toward becoming the pitcher he once was being another year removed from surgery. While he logged only 30.2 innings, he was hit hard by right-handed batters, issuing four home runs in only 13.1 innings. However, in the past he's had equal success between left-handed and right-handed batters so that issue should improve. Look for him to work his way into the middle relief picture with Joel Peralta now setting up Kyle Farnsworth.
Howell re-signed with the Rays in December after missing all of 2010 recovering from shoulder surgery due to a torn labrum. He isn't expected back to start the year but should make his debut at some point in the first half. Before the injury, he was arguably the Rays' best reliever and will look to reclaim a setup role. He likely won't pitch the number of innings to effectively contribute as far as peripheral stats and there is no guarantee he'll return to his old form. Keep him on your radar but temper any lofty expectations.
The retirement of Troy Percival opened the door for Howell to take over the closing duties last season. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but Howell responded to the opportunity with a ridiculous 2.84 ERA and 1.200 WHIP, while racking up seven wins and 17 saves. However, he blew eight saves and converted just 68 percent of his chances. He lost his control as the season wore on (2.63 K/BB ratio first half, 1.71 K/BB ratio in the second half), leading to a 5.25 ERA in August and a 7.20 ERA in September before being shut down for the season. The addition of Rafael Soriano will move Howell back into a setup role to start 2010, but he posts strong enough numbers in that role to warrant a roster spot in AL-only formats.
Howell started 2008 as a long shot rotation candidate; he ended the year as perhaps the most valuable non-closer relief pitcher in the entire American League. Howell's effectiveness as a multi-inning set-up man allowed the Rays to plug Dan Wheeler, and later Grant Balfour, into late-inning set-up roles, and then help fill the hole when closer Troy Percival went on the DL. Howell likely will not be a closer candidate in the spring if Percival is still unavailable, but he'll still be valuable in all but very shallow mixed leagues.
Howell had just one quality start in his last seven outings for the Rays, and he fell behind Andy Sonnanstine and Jason Hammel on the team's depth chart this season. Still, he's a lefty, and he's shown flashes of brilliance (putting up great numbers at Triple-A last year), so he'll get another look for a job in spring training, either as a starter or in long relief. However, this might be his last chance to prove himself as a starter in the Rays' chain before some heralded prospects come knocking at the door.
If you trade away the bad-glove, no-hit Joey Gathright, even a box of new baseballs is a fair exchange. Instead, the Rays got Howell from the Royals, a left-hander who averaged almost a strikeout an inning in Triple-A last season. He had a so-so audition with the Rays last year, and will get a chance to crack their rotation in the spring.
Howell was a man on the move last season, pitching at every level from Single-A to the majors. He had plenty to dominate Single-A and Double-A but started to show rough signs at Triple-A and was overmatched in the majors. He doesn't throw hard but has a big curveball that he can get many to miss. At age 22, he has plenty of time to figure things out.
More Fantasy News
Dropped from 40-man roster
PToronto Blue Jays  
August 16, 2017
The Blue Jays designated Howell for assignment Wednesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
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Welcomed back by home run
PToronto Blue Jays  
August 4, 2017
Howell (shoulder) allowed a solo home run Friday against Houston in his first appearance since returning from a two-month DL stint.
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Returns from DL on Monday
PToronto Blue Jays  
July 31, 2017
Howell (shoulder) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list Monday, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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Takes loss in rehab outing
PToronto Blue Jays  
Shoulder
July 14, 2017
Howell (shoulder) allowed an earned run on three hits and a walk on 22 pitches Friday, recording two outs while taking the loss in a rehab outing with Triple-A Buffalo, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
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Starts rehab stint
PToronto Blue Jays  
Shoulder
July 6, 2017
Howell (shoulder) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports.
ANALYSIS
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