Blue Jays Minor League Depth – Relief Pitching

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Jul 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Rob Rasmussen delivers a pitch during the Jays 8-0 win over Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Ready Talent

Rob Rasmussen– Knocking on the door

The 2nd round pick for the Marlins in 2010 is starting to look like a solid player.  Last year he showed off his talents for 43 innings in AAA Buffalo.  He was able to post a 2.72 ERA and struck out 44.  He appears to be slightly wild as shown by the 1.14 WHIP(17 walks, 32 hits), but he is able to strand those runners on base to keep his ERA low.  This trend continued in his brief stint with the big club posting a 1.324 WHIP (7 walks, 8 hits) in 11.1 innings.  His ERA for those innings was 3.18 to show that he allows base runners but knows how to get outs.  Rasmussen could be a vital lefty arm in the bullpen this season for the Jays.  He will definitely show value if Cecil or Loup get the closer job.  He will need to be the lefty arm in the pen to get left handed hitters out in the middle innings.

Minor League Reserves

Cory Burns– Waiver Claim #1

After having a solid 2013 in the Texas Rangers organization Burns had a really rough season.  He went from having a great year which earned him a promotion to the majors only to be followed by playing in AA and AAA.  Looking at the 4.95 ERA across 63.2 innings in both levels last year definitely discouraged me.  After diving into the stats you can see that he has some tools and this might possibly be inexperience causing his issues.  It seems like he is catching to much of the plate with his pitches.  Burns gave up 81 hits in the 63.2 innings which boosts his WHIP to 1.524.  That WHIP would leave me to think that he walks a ton of people also.  I was surprised to find out he did not walk many people.  Only giving up 16 walks shows that he is just letting hitters beat him up.  The potential for him to get outs is there because he does have an impressive strike out rate at 8.2 K9.  Lets see how his spring goes.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Preston Guilmet– Waiver Claim #2

Having and average season in the minors earned Guilmet a chance to pitch in an O’s jersey last year.  In 10.1 inning he managed to strike out 12.  To undermine that nice stat he also gave up 6 runs which posted an ERA of 5.23.  Before joining the O’s system Guilmet was having a solid minor league career.  In the Indians system he had never posted an ERA over 3 and averaged about 60 strikeouts.  He has the potential to be a reliable right handed arm out of the pen if he can get back on pace with his earlier minor league numbers.

Scott Barnes– Waiver Claim #3

Barns is a tall lefty that has had some time starting and relieving.  After being drafted by the Giants in 2008 they slotted him in as a starter.  In that time he appeared to be inconsistent and the Indians swiped him up.  In the Cleveland system they moved him to the bullpen where he seems to have settled in.  Since 2012 he has averaged an ERA just above 3.5.  He has walked a lot of hitters the past two years in limited innings.  For example last year he walked 16 batters in 31.2 innings, and 20 batters in 28.2 innings the year prior.  Hopefully this tall lefty figures things out because he could be an imposing figure on the mound.