An uninspiring Blue Jays depth piece is earning extra attention this spring

Mar 4, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Wes Parsons (46) throws a
Mar 4, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Wes Parsons (46) throws a / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

There are few teams in baseball with a better starting rotation than the Toronto Blue Jays. Last year, the core four of Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Bassitt were one of the very best quartets in the league.

Alek Manoah scuffled his way through the season and Hyun Jin Ryu came back from an injury at the mid-season point and performed admirably. Other than that, few other pitchers even got to start games last year. Trevor Richards made three appearances as an "opener" and Wes Parsons started the final game of the regular season.

Parsons, a deep cut on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster, spent the majority of 2023 in Triple-A Buffalo, making 17 starts with a 4.52 ERA. Nothing about him necessarily jumped off the page statistically, but he was striking out more batters than he ever had before, which earned him the ball in the season finale.

Of course, we all remember how that went. The right-hander was sent to the mound to essentially "pitch until his arm fell off" and he did just that. Parsons went 4 innings but not before he allowed 9 earned runs on 10 hits, striking out and walking 3 batters. His ERA as a Blue Jay currently sits at 20.25.

During the 2023-2024 offseason, it felt like he was the most obvious candidate to be DFA'd if an extra spot was needed on the 40-man roster. After all, the Jays rarely have trouble signing high-minors depth (see Casey Lawrence, Drew Hutchison, Zach Thompson, etc.) to fill out their rotation in Buffalo, and that's where Parsons is heading to start the upcoming season.

Instead, the 31-year-old is now being tabbed as a depth piece to keep an eye on. As relayed by's Keegan Matheson (X link), John Schneider specifically mentioned Parsons as an option to start games for the Blue Jays behind the likes of Bowden Francis and Mitch White. Matheson continued to say that Parsons' name has been brought up to him many times this spring.

To Parsons' credit, he survived the offseason on the Blue Jays' roster and, as Matheson said, was seemingly kept aboard for a reason. While the outing he made at the tail-end of last season wasn't pretty, the Jays must've seen enough out of him in Buffalo to warrant his being kept around.

Whether Parsons has a strong season in Buffalo this year or not, the hope is that we don't have to see him take the mound. That is not meant to be a disrespectful comment, but if he does have to make a start in the big leagues, that means that one of Francis, White or even Manoah were forced to the injured list. If you have to reach too far into your minor league depth, there's an issue.

To kick off the season, Parsons is realistically around ninth on the Jays' depth chart at starting pitcher. We'll see if he can follow up a decent Triple-A showing last year with another this year. Through three outings (one start), the right-hander has a 4.05 ERA during 2024 spring training, striking out 5 batters and walking 4 through 6.2 innings.