The move signaled that the front office was willing to sacrifice some prospect capital in order to shore up some weaker areas on the roster, especially with the acquisitions of LHP Brad Hand and RHP Joakim Soria for the bullpen as well. The price to acquire Berrios was steep compared to other teams’ deals at the deadline, mostly attributed to the fact that the right-hander will not be eligible for free agency until the end of next season.
The trade with the Twins was met with both positive and negative reactions from the fanbase, as those who treasured prospect depth were left a bit shell-shocked while others were just happy to see the front office add to the roster, regardless of what the organization gave up.
Nevertheless, Berrios is now a Blue Jay and after clearing the necessary protocols and arriving in Toronto Saturday evening, manager Charlie Montoyo scheduled him to pitch yesterday in front of a home crowd that was not only happy to have baseball back at the Rogers Centre but was now able to witness the star deadline acquisition pitch against the Kansas City Royals.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ newest starter Jose Berrios made his debut at the Rogers Centre yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings and showing fans why two top prospects were needed to get him into a blue uniform.
To say the club needed a solid outing from the right-hander is an understatement, as those who were really against the deal would have an absolute field day if he went out and got shelled in his first start with the Jays.
That would not be the case, as Berrios would toss a pretty good game against the Royals, going six shutouts innings while striking out seven batters and allowing just five hits with just one walk in his first start in the Blue Jays uniform. His curveball was electric and on point, complimenting his fastball that had hitters guessing and out in front on numerous occasions. He did find himself in a jam during the sixth inning (his last of the game) where a double from Andrew Benintendi and two hit batters created a bases-loaded situation. With two outs, he was able to strike out former Blue Jays prospect Edward Olivares on a sweeping curveball down and away and walked off the mound to the jubilation of fans across the stadium.
The only comment that could really go against his outing was that he did hit three Royals batters, which one could probably chalk up to his aggressiveness to throw inside mixed with the excitement/nervousness of pitching for a new club. Something to watch over the next few games but I can personally say does not have me too worried at the moment.
Overall, Jose Berrios had a great debut with the Blue Jays and showed fans across the country why it took two top prospects to get him into a blue uniform. Not only does the club have him for the rest of the season, but he will also be with the Jays next year as well, helping the team push for the playoffs over the next two years with a young core that can hit the ball a very long way.