Internal Bullpen Options Available to the Blue Jays

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Blake McFarland

May 17, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of a Toronto Blue Jays ball cap and logo during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This tall 26-year-old right-hander from San Jose, California was teammates with Infante in Double-A during the past season, forming a terrible tandem at the back-end of New Hampshire’s bullpen. McFarland has had an up-and-down career over four seasons in the Blue Jay’s organization, but his last season was his best by far.

Like many breakout pitchers, McFarland has credited a change in his repertoire as the reason for his success. After working with pitching coach Rick Langford in Dunedin, he ditched his two-seam fastball in favour of a four-seamer which he can throw in the low 90s. Relying mainly on a fastball and splitter combo, he held batters to a collective WHIP of 1.107 while striking out 10.5 batter per nine over a total of 62.1 innings. The 2.89 ERA that he earned would have been nearly half a run lower too if he hadn’t allowed four earned runs over one innings of work in May 1st.

There are no drastic outlying stats that would suggest McFarland is due for a drop-off next season, other than the fact that he was a bit older than the average age of competitors at the Double-A level. Age aside though, he certainly looks poised to continue his success, but it remains to be seen if he will get a serious look during the spring. He was appointed to the AFL this offseason and and allowed no runs over 12.1 innings proving that, at least over a small-sample size, he can compete with the best of the best.