Blue Jays option Matt Boyd, DFA Todd Redmond


The Toronto Blue Jays blew through every arm in their bullpen on Thursday night after Matt Boyd failed to record a single out in his second Major League start. As expected, Boyd has been optioned back to AAA Buffalo. The Blue Jays also DFAd reliever Todd Redmond to make room for a fresh bullpen arm heading to Detroit. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet was one of several to report the news soon after Toronto wrapped their 12-6 loss. 

This puts Redmond into the unenviable DFA limbo, which hopefully results in him landing back in the Blue Jays organization once again. The righty had allowed zero earned runs on six hits over his last three outings, but as the 26th or 27th man on the roster, such is the cruel nature of baseball.

Alex Anthopoulos has an interesting choice to make with his recalls. Will he choose to bring up two bullpen arms now, only to option one back to Buffalo in several days for one of Daniel Norris and Felix Doubront to fill Boyd’s spot in the rotation? An announcement should come shortly.

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In regards to Matt Boyd, the Blue Jays will be hoping that this is just one big step backwards in what will ultimately be his long-term growth into a fourth or fifth starter. He’s certainly got the right mindset, telling Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling after the game to “Count on me learning from this and being better from this. It won’t happen again.”

Fans have been quick to cry out against Anthopoulos for recalling the unproven, and perhaps unready, left-hander to the big league club in the middle of a pennant race. Across 14 games started in AA New Hampshire and AAA Buffalo, though, Boyd had gone 7-2 with a 1.26 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. He’d earned the look.

The act of projecting Boyd from AAA to the MLB will always be somewhat difficult because he is more Mark Buehrle than Aaron Sanchez. Boyd can push his fastball to 94-94 MPH when absolutely necessary, but does his best work when resting in the 89-91 MPH range and relying on his plus feel for pitching. Unlike a Sanchez, Hutchison or Norris, Boyd cannot as easily throw himself out of trouble.

His marching orders in AAA will surely have a heavy focus on his off-speed pitches, especially an unpredictable curveball. Tinkering with his off-speeds and having them become less recognizable out of the hand will gain Boyd the split-second of hitter recognition that he loses by being a lower-velocity pitcher. When that happens, eventually, he’ll be back to the Majors.  Will that return be as a Blue Jay?  Ask us on August 1st.

Next: Get hyped! Vlad Guerrero Jr. is officially a Jay!

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