Blue Jays announce Buffalo Bisons starting rotation
The Toronto Blue Jays unveiled their starting rotation for the Buffalo Bisons to begin the 2018 campaign and it includes a familiar face.
The rotation will include Joe Biagini who will pitch for the Triple-A affiliate to afford the big right-hander the opportunity to remain stretched out in the event of an injury with the big club. The Blue Jays are playing it safe with the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Sanchez and his blister issues by keeping Biagini locked and loaded.
Biagini made 18 starts last season for the Jays going 2-12 with an inflated 5.73 earned run average while surrendering 12 gopher balls. In his defence, the 27-year old was shuffled back and from the rotation to the bullpen throughout the season, however, he will need to pitch better this time around if he plans on sticking as a starter in the majors.
Joining Biagini will be Ryan Borucki, Taylor Guerrieri, Deck McGuire and Sam Gaviglio to round out the rotation. Thomas Pannone was slotted to be a part of the herd’s rotation however the hurler was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT).
Ryan Borucki had a breakout campaign last year between Dunedin and New Hampshire posting an impressive 2.93 earned run average. The 24-year old was also summoned to Buffalo for a start where he tossed six shutout innings fanning six batters. Borucki could be in line to make his MLB debut if all goes well this season for him personally.
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Taylor Guerrieri was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays after spending most of last season dealing with an elbow injury. Guerrieri is an intriguing arm is he can stay healthy, the hurler made two starts for Triple-A Durham in 2017 going 1-0 with a 2.89 earned run average while fanning 12 in 9.1 innings or work. The 25-year old once was ranked 62nd by Baseball America in their Top 100 Prospect rankings.
Deck McGuire returns to the Blue Jays organization after making his MLB debut last season with the Cincinnati Reds posting an impressive 2.63 earned run average in 6 appearances. The Jays selected McGuire in the 1st round, 11th overall in the 2010 amateur draft, however, the hurler did not live up to the lofty expectations while with the Jays. Here is hoping his second stint with the club will be more advantageous for both sides.
The Jays acquired Sam Gaviglio from the Kansas City Royals at the end of March after Pannone was suspended. Gaviglio has 16 major league appearances under his belt with the Mariners and Royals posting a 4.36 earned run average. The 27-year old is a former 5th round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals and will be looked upon as a depth piece in the event of an injury.
Chris Rowley is also an option for the rotation however by the looks of the tweet from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet he will be among the initial five.
Next: Blue Jays: How to help Kevin Pillar keep this up
The rest of the minor league rosters should be released today so stay tuned to see where the Jays of the future will be assigned to being the 2018 season.