Blue Jays: How does Tyler Chatwood on the IL impact the bullpen?
The Toronto Blue Jays announced yesterday that reliever Tyler Chatwood will be placed on the 10-day injured list (IL) with right tricep inflammation.
Signing with the Blue Jays this off-season as a free agent, Chatwood has been used in both the starter and reliever roles with three different teams prior to the 2021 season. For his career, the California native has a 4.39 ERA over 849.1 innings, throwing 625 strikeouts with 442 walks and a 1.515 WHIP.
Brought in to the Blue Jays organization to be a reliever, Chatwood had a strong spring training and was slotted into the Jays bullpen as a late-inning/high-pressure situation type of pitcher. Before being placed on the IL, the right-hander had appeared in three games, going 2.2 innings while allowing two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts with no earned runs.
He hasn’t pitched since the Monday against the Texas Rangers and will now be out at least a minimum of ten days and possibly longer if the injury still persists. In a corresponding move(s), pitchers Joel Payamps and Ty Tice have been added to the bullpen. Payamps has appeared in one game for the Blue Jays prior to Friday’s game while Tice is appearing in a Jays uniform for the first time in his career.
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With Chatwood now on the IL and Ryan Borucki also on the COVID-19 injured list due to vaccine side effects (he can return when the side effects subside), the Blue Jays will now have to rely heavily on Rafael Dolis, Jordan Romano, and Julian Merryweather in the high-pressure situations over the next two weeks.
Both Romano and Merryweather have been impressive so far this season, with both pitchers not yet allowing an earned run, while Dolis has appeared in five games so far this campaign, striking out six with four walks and three earned runs over 3.1 innings of work.
In his three appearances, Chatwood has entered the game in the 4th, 6th, and 7th innings, meaning one of the pitchers mentioned above might have to come in earlier than normal if the score is close or if the starter/previous relief pitcher gets into a jam. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering how Romano and Merryweather have been pitching, but the Jays will run into trouble if the game goes into extra innings or if the game is close and Montoyo wants to save one of these pitchers for the later innings.
Considering the injury news is pretty recent, it is unknown at this time if Tyler Chatwood will be able to come off the injured list after the ten days is over. Montoyo did state that he had experienced the inflammation over the past few days, so there really is no accurate timeline for his return.
Until then, Joel Payamps will most likely stay on the roster until his return, using this time as an opportunity to prove he belongs on the Blue Jays roster moving forward.