Blue Jays agree to minor league pact with A.J. Cole

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 04: A.J. Cole #34 of the Cleveland Indians throws against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 4, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 04: A.J. Cole #34 of the Cleveland Indians throws against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 4, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) /
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According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league deal with pitcher A.J. Cole, the pact includes an invite to spring training.

The Blue Jays inked the 27-year old who will compete for a spot on the team’s active roster out of spring training. A.J. Cole made 25 appearances in relief for the Cleveland Indians last season going 3-1 with a respectable 3.81 earned run average. The right-hander fanned 30 hitters and earned a save in over 26 innings of work.

Cole has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Indians. The former 4th round selection has made 19 starts in the majors but none since a pair in 2018 with the Nationals.

It is uncertain at this time what the plan for Cole is moving forward but I would not be surprised if the Blue Jays attempt to reform him back to a starter considering their current need for starting pitching depth at the majors and in Triple-A.

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Over 79 career games, Cole owns an 11-10 record with a 4.86 earned run average with two saves and a 9.4 SO/9 rating over 174 innings on the bump. The big right-hander is 6’5″ with a mid-nineties fastball and a career 35.6% groundball percentage.

As a reliever, Cole sports a 4.15 earned run average, however, that jumps to 5.48 in his 19 games as a starter. The hurler also typically struggles versus lefties as they are hitting .317 against him as opposed to .232 for righties.

As it stands right now, the other confirmed starter for the Blue Jays is Ryan Borucki who hopefully will be healthy, Chase Anderson and Trent Thornton. The Jays are hopeful that Matt Shoemaker will be back in the fold and it would seem that Anthony Kay also pitched his way into the conversation heading into spring training.

Next. Blue Jays: Brock Holt could add versatility in utility role. dark

Regardless of where Cole fits in, he should be able to eat up some innings out of the bullpen or in a spot starters role for the team in 2020.

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