The Toronto Blue Jays rolled almost all of 2017 with no truly effective left-handed reliever, other than the semi-reliable Aaron Loup. They tried J.P. Howell but that blew up right in front of them. With Loup being the only lefty for the 2018 bullpen as of now, the #19 prospect on the Jays Journal top 30 in Tim Mayza may be in line for a job as a 2nd left in the Blue Jays bullpen.
Tim Mayza had a cup of coffee as a starter in the minor leagues throughout a few different stops in the Blue Jays’ system. However, he truly profiled better as a bullpen arm as he’s only made six starts through his entire baseball career.
He struggled mightily his first two years in the Blue Jays system, where he made five of those six starts. It’s no coincidence that when Mayza was made a full time reliever in 2015, that he started to shoot his way up the minor leagues to the point where he made his debut in 2017.
Name: Tim Mayza
Position: P Age: 26
Height: 6’3 Weight: 220 lbs
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Acquired: 12th round pick, 2013 draft
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Mayza appeared in 19 games for the Blue Jays after making it to the big leagues, and he did have some success once he was promoted. It may not seem like it from his 6.88 ERA, but consider the small sample size and his 2.98 FIP. His August was a bit rough with an 11.05 ERA in 7.1 innings, but he bounced back nicely in September to finish his season with a 3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings.
What bit Mayza during his stay in Toronto during the end of the 2017 season was the home run ball, allowing three home runs in his 17.0 innings. That was good for a 21.4% HR/FB, which prorated to 10.5% (xFIP) was just 2.15. If he can control the home run ball he can be quite an effective reliever.
Mayza is a two pitch pitcher, throwing a fastball at 94.2 MPH and a slider at 86.5 MPH. It was a very effective approach for him as evidenced by his 14.29 K/9. It truly showed how dominant he can be as he struck out 27 batters in his 17.0 innings. He can definitely rack up the strikeouts, which would be a lovely addition to the 2018 Blue Jays bullpen, especially from the left side.
As of now, Tim Mayza could find himself in the 2018 Blue Jays bullpen to start the season, especially after the trade of Dominic Leone. The Blue Jays do need a 2nd left hander in the bullpen, and Mayza showed the ability to be a back end of the bullpen type arm. If he has a strong spring, I would predict we see Tim Mayza open the season in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen, and he definitely showed enough in the spring of 2017 and his time at the big league level to be a strong candidate to win the job.