Apr 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress (33) throws a pitch during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees in a game at Rogers Centre. The New York Yankees won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
In a move that should shock no one, the Toronto Blue Jays announced on Twitter they have designated right-handed relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress for assignment and have called-up another right-hander Chad Jenkins from Triple-A Buffalo.
I’ve already seen way too much of Jeffress in these first five games and I’d be surprised if someone makes a waiver claim for him. He has an electric arm and throws a hard fastball in the upper 90s with ridiculous arm side life. However he struggles with control and walked far too many batters both in spring training and early in the season to be of any use to the Blue Jays.
That being said because of his explosive arm at least theoretically a team might end up taking a chance on him. He did have a sparkling ERA and FIP in Triple-A last season (1.65/2.58) and his fastball, when it’s in or near the zone, can get major league batters out. If there’s a team out there stubborn enough to think they can teach him how to throw consistently with control, by all means the project is yours.
Jeffress may also clear waivers and end up back in Buffalo. As much as I’m not a fan, his depth would provide the Blue Jays with another arm to use for potential garbage time or if they get in a jam because of innings pitched or injuries.
Chad Jenkins is often overlooked by Blue Jays fans and despite shaky mechanics and average stuff he’s been sneaky effective at the MLB level. I’m sure that won’t satisfy fans who were looking for more when the Jays made him their first round draft pick in 2009 but in 65.1 big league innings he’s pitched to a 3.58 ERA and 1.224 WHIP. He might end up becoming one of those “Gibby guys” who the Jays manager ends up falling in love with so until he fails miserably I’ll remain optimistic about the prospect of Jenkins.