By: Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away
The Toronto Blue Jays continued to whittle down their pitching staff after sending five players to the minors and informing Mat Latos that he wouldn’t make the team. With the elbow injury to Bo Schultz, that means that the Blue Jays have sent out seven pitchers in the just the last few days, making the Opening Day roster that much clearer.
The Blue Jays informed Mat Latos that he wouldn’t make the team, as Mike Wilner reported, and Shi Davidi has word that he will stay with the team in the minor league organization rather than exercise his opt-out to become a free agent.
Gregor Chisholm also reported that Schultz would be visiting a specialist in New York today to check up on his sore elbow. Being out of options (and on the 40-man roster), Schultz going to the DL to start the year is a no-brainer that makes selecting the final reliever or two an easier task.
The Blue Jays also sent out Leonel Campos, Casey Lawrence, Tim Mayza, Jeff Beliveau and Chad Girodo.
29-year-old Campos, who pitched in parts of the last three years with the San Diego Padres, allowed three run sin eight innings, walking four and striking out 10 with the Blue Jays this spring.
Beliveau, 30, has parts of four MLB seasons under his belt, between 2012 and 2015, but walked eight batters in eight innings (striking out nine) in the spring.
Lawrence was probably the feel-good story of the spring. The 29-year-old righty who was a non-drafted free agent signed by the Blue Jays out of college, was being looked at as a depth starter for the big league club after his velocity took a tick up and he was still able to use his excellent command and sinking fastball to limit damage. Lawrence made 15 starts with Buffalo last year, posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. This spring, Lawrence got plenty of opportunity to show what he’s got, allowing seven runs over 16 1/3 innings, walking seven and striking out 11 in seven games.
Girodo, who made his big league debut last year, gave up just two earned runs on six hits and a walk over 8 2/3 innings this spring for a 2.08 ERA and 0.81 WHIP, striking out seven batters in nine appearances. The 26-year-old lefty will likely one of the first lefties up from the minors if Aaron Loup doesn’t perform.
Finally, Tim Mayza, 25, is another lefty who got people buzzing about him. He was throwing in the high 90s this spring after a stellar year with Dunedin (but got roughed up a bit in a brief tenure in New Hampshire) last year. Mayza had a 4.32 ERA in nine appearances totaling 8 1/3 innings but had a great eight-to-one strikeout to walk ratio.
All of the pitchers sent to minor league camp will likely open the year with Buffalo (except Mazya who will probably start in New Hampshire), giving the Bisons some solid depth to back up the major league squad.