Won’t be denied
Prior to seeing Simeon Woods Richardson pitch this spring, I didn’t really expect that we’d see the 20-year-old in the big leagues in 2021. I had read a few other writers make that prediction, but I wasn’t sure I really believed it. That said, it might be tough to deny the emerging prospect for long.
Like Manoah, Woods Richardson has had a very impressive spring and looks more than capable of getting big league hitters out. He’s also sporting a 0.00 ERA across eight innings, including a 0.84 WHIP and eight strikeouts. I realize that we can’t make too much of spring stats, but you couldn’t ask for more from the Texas native.
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Since he also missed the opportunity to gain minor league experience in 2020, Woods Richardson has never pitched above High-A. My guess is he’ll begin in Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Blue Jays will look to carefully manage his innings as well.
Woods Richardson strikes me as the type that could help in the bullpen down the stretch. He throws hard and doesn’t appear to be intimidated by much of anything, which are enviable traits for a reliever. Still just 20 years old, it would also help the Jays limit his workload if he’s only throwing an inning or two at a time later in the year.
It could all come down to a need in the rotation and/or in the bullpen, but I no longer think it’s out of the question that we’ll see Woods Richardson in the big leagues this year. Out of the five or six arms I’ve mentioned he’s admittedly the longest shot, but I’d still bet on seeing him sometime this summer or fall.
Again, some of the pitchers I’ve talked about may very well begin the year on the big league roster, but as of this writing i don’t think that’ll be the case. Injuries can obviously change things in a hurry though, and at one point or another Charlie Montoyo will likely call on them all. You can never have too much pitching.