Cheering for a comeback
If there’s one player we should all be cheering for in camp this spring, it’s probably Tim Mayza.
The Pennsylvania native has worked hard to get back to performing at a high level after sustaining a devastating arm injury with the Blue Jays in 2019. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, he’s back throwing hard and is very much in the mix for a bullpen job.
The biggest reason that I think Mayza still start the year in the minors is because he still has minor league options remaining, and the Blue Jays will have a bit of a crunch to deal with as far as their 40-man roster. Kirby Yates’ injury opens up a spot, but they’ll also have to find room for veterans like Francisco Liriano, or A.J. Cole, assuming they want to keep them around. With Mayza they have the luxury of the minor league option.
If I’m making a prediction as of this writing, my assumption is that Liriano will be the second southpaw out of the bullpen to start the year, joining Ryan Borucki. That might come as a minor disappointment for Mayza, but he should rest comfortably knowing that an opportunity is bound to come in 2021. Every year big league teams need a large group of relievers to make it through a full season, and after a shortened 60-game schedule in 2020, pitching depth is going to be more important that ever.
Maybe the 29-year-old won’t be the most important piece in the bullpen this year, but I fully expect him to find a role at some point. After watching him walk off a big league mound in pain in 2019, it’ll be cause for celebration when he officially returns to a regular season game.