Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The interesting decision to DFA Patrick Murphy

Jun 27, 2021; Buffalo, New York, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Patrick Murphy (66) delivers a pitch during the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2021; Buffalo, New York, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Patrick Murphy (66) delivers a pitch during the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Blue Jays made some roster moves yesterday, placing pitcher Ross Stripling on the 10-day IL while recalling right-hander Trent Thornton to the active roster. The club then went one step more and selected the contract of minor league journeyman Connor Overton, one of the Buffalo Bisons’ top relievers this season with a 2.03 ERA through 21 appearances.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays decided to designate pitcher Patrick Murphy for assignment, a move I can say I was not personally expecting.

Drafted out of Hamilton High School in Arizona in the third round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Murphy made his major league debut last season for the Jays, appearing in four games and pitching to a  1.50 ERA through six innings with five strikeouts.

The Toronto Blue Jays made some roster moves yesterday, selecting the contract of Connor Overton while designating Patrick Murphy for assignment.

Entering the 2021 campaign, Murphy was competing for a spot in the Blue Jays bullpen after his brief stint last year, hoping to secure one of the open spots to begin the season. An AC joint injury in his shoulder would shut down that possibility in Spring Training, as the right-hander would begin the year on the 60-day IL.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

In late May, Murphy started his rehab assignment down in Low-A Dunedin before getting back to the AAA roster. Prior to being DFA, Murphy was riding the options bus for most of July and had appeared in eight games for the big league club, pitching to a 4.82 ERA with five earned runs, four walks, and six strikeouts through 9.0 innings of work.

Murphy’s fastball was a solid pitch sitting in the mid-90s but his curveball was what got fans and Jays’ media going, with its elite spin rate and ability to strike out opposing batters at will when he was in the minor leagues. In 2018 with the Dunedin Blue Jays (A ball) and New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA), Murphy struck out 141 batters through 27 starts, one of the highest strikeout totals that year in the Jays minor league system.

As of right now, Murphy is ranked #16 on the Blue Jays top prospect list and did have options available when he was designated for assignment. Considering how well Breyvic Valera has been playing lately, it simply came down to a numbers game when they decided to DFA Murphy in order to bring Overton to the big league roster. The only other players who could possibly be DFA instead of Murphy would most likely come down to Josh Palacios, Anthony Castro, Trent Thornton, or if the fans had any say, Rafael Dolis.

I thought Murphy had a legitimate shot to be a contributing pitcher in the bullpen this year but it seems like the injuries and the stellar performances from the Bison’s bullpen made the Arizona product expendable.

dark. Next. Who goes to the bullpen when Stripling returns?

Overall, I hope that Murphy does find a way to sneak through the waiver wire and remain with the Blue Jays down in the minor leagues. He has the past experience to be a starter if the Blue Jays need him in that role but did show flashes of what he is capable of last season out of the pen. I wouldn’t come him out just yet as the starter turned reliever could easily find his way back to the major leagues, whether he is with the Blue Jays or another franchise.

facebooktwitterreddit