Blue Jays’ fans: Remember, we need pitching depth

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher Deck McGuire
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Starting pitcher Deck McGuire /

Some fans reacted negatively to the news that the Blue Jays have re-signed Deck McGuire. Remember folks, the Jays need pitching depth.

I feel like I could write this article annually (and maybe I do), but the message remains the same every year. Every MLB team needs pitching depth.

And still, it’s an annual tradition to watch some fans on social media lose their minds when they see some of the first names locked up each offseason. Yesterday’s example? The Blue Jays decided to bring Deck McGuire back on a MiLB deal. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it should, as he was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2010 draft.

Not every draft pick works out in baseball, and McGuire is a perfect example of that. For many Blue Jays’ fans, he’s best remembered as the guy the Jays drafted before Chris Sale (ouch), but again, that happens a lot in baseball. It’s not like the NBA or NHL where there are slam dunk draft picks, at least not very often.

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So while fans may see McGuire as a failed draft pick from the past, you may as well forget the narrative that he comes with. At this stage, he’s a minor league depth arm, and whether they get us excited or not, there are a ton of these contracts handed out every winter. And there will be a bunch more before we’re through.

We saw it last year in spades, as the Blue Jays used 14 different starters to make it through the 162 game season. After having used just seven the year before, the Blue Jays and their fans were reminded about how lucky the 2016 season  was for pitching health. While it’s not ideal to make it down to guys like McGuire in the depth chart, that’s what happened to the Blue Jays in 2017 as we saw starts from guys like Mat Latos and Nick Tepesch.

For his part, McGuire was decent last year in Double A, when he was a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization. He pitched for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, making 27 starts and pitching to 2.79 ERA, which was definitely his best pro season. At just 28 years old, maybe he’s turned a bit of a corner and can find his way into a solid second half of his career. He did make his MLB debut last year as well, making two starts for the Reds and allowing just four runs over 13.1 innings.

McGuire expressed a thankfulness for the opportunity on Twitter on Thursday, and will join the many arms trying to earn their place in the Blue Jays organization for the 2018 season. If he can build on what he did last year, maybe there’s promise for him after all.

Next: Free agent options: Lorenzo Cain vs. Jarrod Dyson

Either way, just try to remember we need some of these guys, even if it’s not that exciting.