This weekly series will feature Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospects and provide weekly updates on whose stock is rising, and whose is falling at all minor-league levels.
Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A
Jon Harris (2-0, 1.05 ERA)
Harris was outstanding against the Fort Wayne TinCaps this week — turning in the best start of his young professional career. Harris had everything working in his longest start in the minors as he picked up a career high 11 strikeouts in seven innings. He threw 64 of his 92 pitches for strikes, walked one batter, and gave up just four hits, keeping the Lugnuts in a scoreless tie before giving way to the bullpen. The fact that Lansing picked up the 1-0 win in extra innings was icing on the cake for Harris.
Make that five consecutive scoreless starts for the 22-year-old — a promotion could be coming.
Gustavo Pierre (1-0, 7.11)
Pierre’s first month as a full-time pitcher is not going according to plan. He is having a hard time throwing strikes, which was evident in his last outing. Pierre came out of the bullpen and allowed four earned runs, and was only able to record one out. He walked three batters and gave up one hit. That’s not the most troubling statistic.
Pierre threw 17 pitches in the inning and just three of them were strikes. The Dominican Republic-native’s value is slipping as he has walked 7 batters in 6.1 innings with just two strikeouts this season. Last night against the TinCaps, Pierre took the loss (1-1) allowing two runs over two innings in relief.
Ryan Borucki (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
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Borucki gets a clean slate with Lansing, so we can forget about the 1-4 record and 14.40 ERA he put up in Dunedin for now. He made a great first impression with his new ball club pitching against a tough South Ben Cubs offence. The big lefty went five innings, allowing just a run on three hits and a walk with a season high five strikeouts. Borucki needed something positive to build on after being absolutely shelled in five of his six starts in Advanced-A. Hopefully he can turn his season around and find a home in the Lansing rotation.
Sean Reid-Foley (2-2, 3.20 ERA)
What a strange season Reid-Foley has had so far, and it is difficult to pinpoint what has gone right and wrong for him when looking at the numbers. He has struggled with walking too many batters for most of the year, but still managed to hold a 1.66 ERA coming into this week. In his matchup against the Cubs, he held them to just one free pass (just the second time this season without 2 or more walks) but he was tagged for five earned runs — he gave up a total of four earned in his previous five starts.
The easy way out is to say his stuff just isn’t there. Nine hits in three and a third innings is not what we are used to seeing from Reid-Foley. But it is easy to forget he is still just 20-years-old and is in the midst of figuring himself out in just his second full season in the minor-leagues.
Angel Perdomo (2-1 1.98 ERA)
Perdomo started last night for the Lugnuts, allowing three runs, all unearned, over four innings of work. He’s now struck out 44 batters in just 31.1 innings, and lowered his ERA to 1.72 in the process. The left-hander hasn’t allowed an earned run in four of his last five trips to the mound.
Dunedin Blue Jays, Advanced-A
Francisco Rios (3-1, 1.70 ERA between Lansing and Dunedin)
Just as we predicted in last weeks update, Rios bounced back after a rough debut with Dunedin. Although he likely exceeded anyones expectations, again. Rios was almost un-hittable against the Minnesota Twins affiliate Fort Myers Miracle this week. He went seven innings and the only thing the Miracle could muster up was one single and one double. Rios did not walk a batter and struck out six while 60 of his 90 pitches went for strikes. If he continues to perform anywhere close to the level he has been at all season, another promotion to New Hampshire is not out of the question.
Conner Greene (2-2, 3.14 ERA)
Another steady start for Greene, who has yet to show anything flashy like some of his fellow young Blue Jays arms, but has been consistent and solid so far this season. Greene went five and two thirds for the fourth time in five starts. He gave up two runs and four hits, walked two, and struck out two against the Brevard County Manatees. Greene has yet to throw a scoreless outing this season, but has given up more than two earned runs just once. While most experts were shocked he did not crack the New Hampshire roster right out of the gate, the decision to keep him at Advanced-A is proving to be fair, so far.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A
Jeremy Gabryszwski (2-1, 3.11 ERA)
He continues to find his way on the prospect list and I continue to copy and paste his last name from a Google search. Control-V has really come out of no where this season to pitch extremely well for the Double-A squad. He was actually ranked as Jays Journals number 38 prospect four years ago — what an honour. In his start this week, Gabryszwski picked up the win after holding the Hartford Yard Goats (awesome) to two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings of work, while striking out six batters. While it’s far too early to claim the 23-year-old has “figured it out”, he looks to be on the right track.
Shane Dawson (1-2, 2.61 ERA)
A hard luck loser in a 2-0 loss to the Portland Sea Dogs, Dawson struck out a season high seven batters over six innings. The two runs he allowed were from a single in the second inning and a solo home run in the sixth. Despite the loss, he continues to pitch well and is really making a name for himself in the Blue Jays system. The 22-year-olds career ERA now sits at an even 3.00 in 291.1 innings. With the Blue Jays desperate for some lefty help out of the bullpen, Dawson’s name could be thrown around at some point this season if he keeps this up.
Luis Santos (5-0, 2.88 ERA)
Santos pitched six innings of shutout ball over the Yard Goats (still awesome) and allowed nothing but four hits as he struck out six batters, in his best start of what has been a strong season so far. He lowered his ERA for the third straight week and should get another crack at Hartford on Friday. Santos has a 38-12 strikeout to walk ratio and a 1.11 WHIP in seven starts and two relief appearances this season. Don’t expect to see him come out of the bullpen anytime soon.