Blue Jays: Who is the 2018 version of Dominic Leone?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Carlos Ramirez
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Carlos Ramirez /

The trade that saw the Toronto Blue Jays move Dominic Leone and Conner Greene to the St. Louis Cardinals for Randal Grichuk drew a lot of ire from Blue Jays fans, especially at the fact they moved on from 2017 breakout Leone.

Every single year around the MLB, at least one reliever bursts onto the scene and produces for a club. Now that Leone is gone, who will be the 2018 version of Dominic Leone?

Leone was a waiver claim by the Toronto Blue Jays who was basically entrenched into the bullpen all season long with a few stops in Buffalo. By seasons end, he was one of John Gibbons most trusted relief pitcher. The Blue Jays have a ton of intriguing arms that could crack the bullpen including Tim Mayza, Matt Dermody, Al Alburquerque, and Chad Girodo. Also in the system is waiver claim Taylor Guerrieri, but he likely will be a depth starter in Buffalo.

It’s also likely that the Blue Jays will be making some more minor league free agent signings like they did with Alburquerque before Spring Training starts. They could also find a few waiver claims throughout the spring. There will be plenty of arms competing for a spot in the bullpen, but in my mind, the new Dominic Leone for 2018 will be flamethrower Carlos Ramirez.

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Ramirez almost had a historic season on his rise from AA all the way to the MLB as he didn’t allow a run all season long until a rough outing late in the season against the Kansas City Royals. In total, Ramirez went on a 47.2 scoreless inning streak which is simply incredible. His scoreless streak at the major league level lasted 7 appearances/10 innings pitched. He was incredible all season long and all September long for the Blue Jays bullpen.

Carlos Ramirez is basically a two-pitch pitcher, with a fastball that averages 92.4 MPH and a slider that averages 83.8. When he reaches back for more gas, Ramirez can hit 95-96 MPH with his fastball. His slider is pretty devastating as well, which compliments that fastball beautifully. Ramirez doesn’t walk many batters but does have the ability to rack up the strikeouts as well.

The Toronto Blue Jays have been very high on Carlos Ramirez for a few seasons now. Leone had the ability to throw harder and more pitches, but had control issues and was susceptible to the home run ball at times. Ramirez has control and historically doesn’t give up the home run. They both get it done in different ways, but both are very effective.

Next: Blue Jays: Trading an outfielder may be inevitable

If you’re looking for the next Dominic Leone in 2018, look no further than Carlos Ramirez. Ramirez should slot in right behind Danny Barnes and Ryan Tepera but also be occasionally used as a set-up guy like Leone. Carlos Ramirez will be a great addition to the 2018 Blue Jays bullpen and will provide stability near the backend of the bullpen. He will replace Dominic Leone beautifully.