Ryan Borucki made his first appearance of the season for the GCL Blue Jays yesterday, and hopefully he’ll be able to help the big league club in the 2nd half.
One of the forgotten names in the Blue Jays’ system this year has been Ryan Borucki, who has yet to make his season debut in Toronto because he’s dealt with elbow issues so far this season.
Thankfully, Borucki finally took the mound for the GCL Blue Jays yesterday as he begins working his way into game shape. Hopefully that will mean the talented left-hander will be able to help the Blue Jays in the second half of the season and get back to carving out a role as one of the established starters in a rotation that could really use some help.
Last year Borucki was arguably the Blue Jays’ best starter despite making only 17 starts in his rookie campaign. He ended up going 4-6 with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.321 WHIP over 97.2 innings and was one of the more reliable arms for John Gibbons in his last season at the helm. The hope was that he would build on that successful rookie showing, but so far he’s been unable to get healthy enough to even make an appearance.
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That said, his outing on Wednesday was extremely encouraging (box score courtesy of MiLB.com), even if he was facing off against some pretty young and inexperienced competition. He threw three innings, striking out six hitters and held GCL Yankees West squad without a baserunner. You really couldn’t ask for a better start for the 25-year-old on his road to returning to the big leagues.
He’s going to need some time to get his arm strength built up before he’ll be an option for Charlie Montoyo, but it’s possible he’ll be returning the lineup at a very important time. Marcus Stroman has been consistently in the rumour mill as a trade target of several teams, and the Blue Jays haven’t exactly tried to stop the narrative that he’s available. The same could be said for Aaron Sanchez as well, although it may be tough to draw much interest considering the way he’s pitched this season, and with his recent history of injury issues with his pitching hand.
If one or both of those arms are dealt before July 31st, Borucki will be borderline crucial to helping this team get through the remainder of the 2019 season. The club has been in a constant search of starting talent all year, and with the chances that their corps could be further decimated on the trade market, hopefully he doesn’t have any setbacks with his recovery time either.
I remember being slightly annoyed with the Blue Jays’ front office when they signed Clay Buchholz and traded for Clayton Richard, mostly because I didn’t want to see Borucki bumped from the rotation to begin the year. With Stroman, Sanchez, Matt Shoemaker, and those two veterans, it was possible that Borucki was going to have to start the year in Triple-A. As it turns out, none of Buchholz, Richard, or Borucki were ready for the start of the season, and Richard recently came off the IL to join the pitching staff, so it was another good reminder of the need for starting depth to get through a long year.
With that in mind, hopefully Borucki continues to get healthy and is able to do just that. There’s no doubt the Blue Jays could use his help.