3 Blue Jays top pitching prospects headed for further testing; bad news may be coming

Gulp … hopefully it doesn’t turn out as bad as it seems for the Blue Jays
Mar 15, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (70) throws a pitch
Mar 15, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (70) throws a pitch / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have been hit with some recent unsettling news with regards to three of their top pitching prospects in the organization. Jays Journal No. 1 prospect Ricky Tiedemann, No. 5 prospect Brandon Barriera and No. 11 prospect Landen Maroudis have all gone down with an injury related to their pitching arm within the past couple of weeks and will now all undergo further testing and evaluation.

For Tiedemann, he has appeared in three games for the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate Buffalo so far this season. In those games, he struggled with his command as he posted a 5.63 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, giving up 5 earned runs on 7 hits with 9 walks and 10 strikeouts in just 8 innings of work. He was placed on the IL following an MRI last Thursday after experiencing ominous elbow discomfort. More worrisome is the fact that Tiedemann will now meet with team doctors in Toronto this week to further evaluate his situation.

As one of Baseball America’s (subscription required) pitching breakout candidates for 2024, Maroudis was looking forward to show the Jays’ brass what he can do after being selected in the fourth round of the 2023 MLB Draft. He had actually gotten off to a great start to his professional baseball career with the Jays’ Single-A affiliate Dunedin this year. In three games, including two starts, he has compiled a 1-0 record with a stellar 0.84 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, yielding only 1 run on 3 hits with 4 walks and an impressive 12 strikeouts in just 10.2 innings pitched. His stellar season was suddenly halted when he was removed from the game in his latest start this past Sunday due to a forearm injury. Maroudis is now scheduled to undergo an MRI on his forearm to see the extent of his injury.

Barriera was looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2023 season last year that saw him make only seven starts in total. Despite the limited playing time, he did manage to post a solid 3.98 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched. However, Barriera had to leave the game in his very first start this year with Dunedin after 1.1 innings due to an elbow injury. At the time, he had given up 1 run on 2 hits with 1 walk and 1 strikeout, and would later have an inherited runner score as well after his departure. He will meet with Dr. Keith Meister this week to have his elbow further evaluated.

The latest news is a huge blow to the Jays’ organization, who had been already known for their lack of starting pitching depth in their minor league system. But to have all three go down in just a short period time span makes it even a tougher pill to swallow. Nevertheless, Jays’ nation should brace themselves for whatever outcome may transpire for the trio of top prospects, and sincerely hope that upon further evaluation that all of their cases will not turn out as serious as it seems.