When a guy makes as many trips between the minor leagues and the Major Leagues, fans tend to pull a bit more for him. Toronto Blue Jays reliever Chad Jenkins tested that theory by making the trip back and forth between Toronto six times during the season. However, his last trip of the season won’t be to either destination.
Jenkins will likely be placed in the 15-day disabled list on Friday after breaking his pitching hand during batting practice on Thursday afternoon, as reported on Twitter by Scott MacArthur of TSN.
It’s an unfortunate end to the season for Jenkins, who despite racking up the frequent flyer miles between Buffalo and Toronto, put together a solid season out of the Blue Jays bullpen. In 31.2 innings spread out across 21 appearances, the 26-year-old posted a 2.56 ERA, a 3.47 FIP, a 5.1 K/9 ratio and induced ground balls at a rate of 57.3%.
That performance has certainly put Jenkins into a position to compete for a full-time bullpen spot on the 2015 Blue Jays squad, especially with so many bullpen slots likely to be open competitions. Given what he’s done in 2014, Jenkins will profile as a solid long relief option for Toronto, a role similar to what Todd Redmond played this season.
No word on whether the Blue Jays will fill the open roster spot at this time. The Blue Jays do have options available in Colt Hynes, Rob Rasmussen, and Kyle Drabek, all of whom are on the 40-man roster, but were not called up on September 1st. Of course, with the expanded bullpen already in place, the Blue Jays are under no pressure to add another arm at this stage.