A season that has slid by the wayside may be tough on some players in the Blue Jays organization, but for others, it is an opportunity to stake their claim for the future. Moises Sierra, Adeiny Hechavarria, Anthony Gose, and Yan Gomes are a few that are being given that opportunity in the season’s final weeks.
Now right-hander Chad Jenkins is one of those players.
A starter for most of his minor league career, Jenkins has had middling results in the Blue Jays system, posting just a 4.12 ERA and a 6.0 K/9 ratio over his first 3 minor league seasons.
Still, with Toronto needing healthy arms, Jenkins was promoted in August and Jenkins has made 10 appearances for the big club, but the results have not been as kind. In those 10 appearances, Jenkins has surrendered 10 earned runs (including 2 or more in each of his last 3 outings) over 18 innings. His K/9 ratio has also diminished to just 3.9 while in Toronto, indicating that he is not fooling many hitters.
However, John Farrell has seen enough to give Jenkins the ball on Sunday afternoon, allowing the rookie to make his first major league start in the finale against the Rays. The need for a six-man rotation was created by Monday’s double-header in New York, so Jenkins is the lucky recipient of that role.
Prior to the season, Jenkins did not appear on Baseball Prospectus’s list of top 20 Blue Jays prospects, in what is decidedly a pitching rich system. Overall, he profiles more as an innings-eater if he maintains a spot in the rotation, his long-term prospects for the majors are better as a reliever, where he’ll need to find a way to increase his strike-out rates if he wants to succeed.
But for now, he can ride the wave of emotions and make the most of his first shot, hopefully giving the Blue Jays the shot in the arm they really need to close out the season on a high note.