Blue Jays stockpiling arms hoping to catch lightning in a bottle
The Toronto Blue Jays continue to stockpile a plethora of young pitchers hopeful of catching lightning in a bottle with a couple of them.
The Blue Jays brain trust just recently added five arms to the 40-man roster to ensure the hurlers remain protected within the organization. Recent additions include the likes of pitchers Trent Thornton, Julian Merryweather, and Jacob Waguespack who were all acquired via the trade route.
The highly regarded Merryweather was the bounty for Josh Donaldson at the trade deadline. Although his peripheral numbers may not reflect it, the Blue Jays are very high on Merryweather and quite familiar with the prospect due to the Cleveland connection.
Just recently the Jays sent Aledmys Diaz packing to Houston in exchange for pitcher Trent Thornton. The 25-year old is regarded for his spin rates and was a sought-after trade commodity according to the Astros.
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Both Merryweather and Thorton could make a case for the starting rotation out of spring training. As it stands right now the Jays are still vying for a fifth starter to compliment Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Ryan Borucki, and Sean Reid-Foley.
The Jays also still have Thomas Pannone and Sam Gaviglio in the conversation as well. Gaviglio surprisingly had the second most starts of any Jays pitcher last season with 24 and second to only Marco Estrada who led the squad with 28 starts.
The pitching haul from the Roberto Osuna trade could also pay dividends in 2019 for the Jays. Hector Perez and David Paulino are both interesting, high upside arms who both could be factors sooner than later. Paulino especially impressed as a September call-up working in a relief role down the stretch last season.
The Jays also still have 27-year old Mark Leiter Jr. kicking around on the 40-man roster. Leiter was claimed off waivers last season from the Philadelphia Phillies but has struggled in parts of two seasons at the major league level.
The Jays are thin when it comes to proven starting depth but as you can see they have a surplus of unproven arms who under the right circumstance could become viable major league pitchers.