2017 Toronto Blue Jays Season Review: Matt Dermody
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
Matt Dermody was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 28th round of the 2013 draft after he had been drafted three times before: once after high school (29th round, Pittsburgh), and then twice, after sophomore and junior years of college at the University of Iowa (29th round in 2011, Colorado; 23rd round in 2012, Arizona).
Finally signing with the Blue Jays in 2013, Dermody, now 27, went to work as a lefty with the GCL Blue Jays (for one appearance) and was dominant in 40 2/3 innings with class-A Short Season Vancouver, striking out 50 batters and walking just four.
Dermody then posted mediocre numbers in 2014 and 2015, spending a year each at low-A Lansing and class-A Advanced Dunedin before climbing through Dunedin, double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo to make his major league debut in 2016, allowing four runs in three innings (over five appearances).
Dermody opened 2017 with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons after tossing six innings in spring training, giving up three runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out four. Once the season opened, Dermody made his first appearance in Buffalo as a starter, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts over three innings. He threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his next outing, coming on in relief and striking out all five batters he faced.
Dermody was called up to Toronto and gave up five runs on a walk and four hits including three home runs in just 1/3 of an inning and was promptly sent back to the minors.
Back in Buffalo, Dermody went to work, sticking in triple-A for just over two months, tossing 36 1/3 innings with a 2.97 ERA and 30 strikeouts with just eight walks. He got called up to Toronto again and made four appearances, earning his first major league win thanks to three innings of one-run (unearned) ball but after giving up two runs on a home run in his next outing, he was back in Buffalo for one more game (in which he also gave up two runs in two innings).
Called back to Toronto again, Dermody returned to the mound on August 15 and remained until the season ended, pitching much better. In 18 1/3 innings in this stint, he allowed only four earned runs and two home runs, taking a 1.96 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP in this portion of his season, walking three and striking out 14 and holding opponents to a .600 OPS.
Dermody was strong against lefties, giving up a 2.38 ERA and just eight hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings while he had a 6.55 ERA on 15 hits and four walks in 11 innings against righties.
With the season over, it's easy to see that Dermody could very well be an option as a lefty in the pen. While the final month and a half of the season constitutes a fairly small sample size, we are left wondering if Dermody has turned a corner and can be an effective LOOGY out of the pen for the Blue Jays in 2018. He'll certainly be given a chance to be one, but it would be much better for everyone if he could improve his numbers against righties.
Dermody has 100 days of major league service time under his belt (a full season is 172) and, should he stick with the club from here on in, will be under team control until 2024.
2017 Regular Season Grades
Jay Blue: B-
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit the Handbook page for more information!