Merryweather is one of the major league ready talents without a clear and defined role entering 2023. The former PTBNL has been a frustrating case, both from a Blue Jays staff and fan perspective.
The potential the hard throwing righty possesses is something that is tantalizing to any organization. However, injuries, inconsistencies, and a tendency of giving up homeruns has led to poor numbers over the last two seasons from Julian.
An ERA of 6.13 over just 39.2 innings through the past two seasons is far removed from the expectations placed upon him after his brief 2020 and hot start to the 2021 season. Everyone remembers that opening series at Yankee Stadium. Merryweather was able to power through a potent Yankees lineup en route to a solid beginning of the 2021 season. He threw 4.1 scoreless innings before succumbing to an oblique injury, which sidelined him until September. Upon his return he was shelled to an ERA of 7.27 over 8.2 innings.
His troubles continued into last year. Between injuries and a WHIP of 1.46 when healthy, Merryweather was ineffective and never put himself in a position to be relied upon to record important outs. He’s been passed in the bullpen depth chart by many, and will be pushed even further back with the arrival of Erik Swanson.
Merryweather is also out of minor league options, meaning he cannot be sent to AAA Buffalo if he fails to make the roster out of camp. This mix of poor performance, injury history and circumstance all contribute to the possibility of Julian being on the outside looking in. Fans seem to be ready to move on from him, and there’s a good chance the Jays are too.