Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Trent Thornton accomplished something in his first MLB start yesterday that no other hurler in franchise history ever had.
Trent Thornton became the first pitcher to ever record eight strikeouts in his MLB debut in a Blue Jays uniform. The previous record of seven whiffs was held by Marc Rzepczynski and Matt Boyd who coincidentally was across the dugout to witness the new record.
The 25-year old was absolutely dominant and at times downright filthy making both Nicholas Castellanos and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera look silly on curveballs that fell off the table during his outing. Thornton possesses a curveball with a spin rate of over 3000 rpm and it was definitely on display during his debut.
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His fastball sat in the mid-nineties as the youngster excelled for the entire five innings on the bump allowing just two hits and not issuing a free pass. GM Ross Atkins may have made good on his acquisition of Thornton when he shipped shortstop Aledmyz Diaz to the Houston Astros in exchange for the pitcher this past offseason.
Last season, Thornton went 9-8 with a 4.42 earned run average while fanning 122 in 124.1 innings of work in Triple-A with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League. In five of his 22 starts in 2018, Thornton notched eight or more strikeouts including a season-high 11 whiffs.
Thornton is tabbed to make a couple of starts subbing in for the injured Ryan Borucki, however, the rookie may make a case to become a permanent fixture in the rotation with another similar performance in his next outing.
The Blue Jays starting rotation has yet to allow a run in 24 innings of work thus far, an impressive feat considering two of their starters are shelved with injuries. Sean Reid-Foley will attempt to keep the streak intact as he takes the bump tonight versus the Baltimore Orioles.