The Toronto Blue Jays have done a great job developing young, talented position players that have come to the big leagues and made an impact. We’ve seen a number of players, such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. make the jump to the majors and thrive early on in their careers.
It seems like the pitching may be catching up to the hitters, and on Sunday, we got a glimpse of some potential key pieces to the Jays’ future rotation.
Manager Charlie Montoya decided to give fans a little treat on Sunday and showcased some of their top pitching prospects. They ran out Alek Manoah, their first round pick in 2019 out of West Virginia, Simeon Woods Richardson, the centerpiece in the return for Marcus Stroman, Adam Kloffenstein, their 3rd round selection back in 2018 and CJ Van Eyk, their second rounder from last July.
These arms happen to be the Jays top four pitching prospects (behind Nate Pearson who won’t be a prospect for much longer). They rank fifth, fourth, tenth and eleventh in the Jays system respectively.
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Not only were we treated to seeing these four hurlers throw, we got to see them have some success as well. Manoah and Woods Richardson picked up right where they left off from their last outings and dominated, tossing six scoreless innings combined, three innings a piece.
Manoah was especially good, retiring all nine batters he faced. He used his power fastball, wipe out slider and improved changeup to rack up seven punch outs as well. After a scoreless 7th, Kloffenstein came in and looked sharp, blanking the bombers in the 8th and picked up a strikeout.
Van Eyk entered the game in the 9th, looking to close the door. He ran into some trouble though and combined a couple of seeing eye ground balls, with a lack of command that caused him to allow five earned runs.
Even though Van Eyk didn’t have his best day, I still liked what I saw out of him, as his breaking ball looked sharp and that’s something to build off of for his next time out.
Sunday’s ball game should have provided a lot of excitement for Jays fans. GM Ross Atkins has built a really talented lineup over the last couple of seasons but the rotation has fallen a bit behind. This will have to be fixed, but they have a plethora of young arms, and were able to show case some of them yesterday. Manoah and Woods Richardson are closing in on the big leagues and will be a huge boost to the pitching staff when they get there and it was great to see them and others go to work on Sunday.