After five seasons with the Blue Jays spanning 108 games and 35 starts, the Blue Jays made the tough decision today to designate long-time Jay Trent Thornton for assignment, per club announcement.
The funky-throwing Thornton was acquired back in 2018 for Aledmys Díaz and was called up in 2019 as the team's fifth starter, and then had been shuffled back and forth from Toronto and Buffalo from 2020 up until this season, making 53 appearances for the Bisons in the process.
Thornton now relies heavily on his curveball, which baseball savant says is in the 98th percentile for spin, as well as a mid-low 90s fastball that, like his curveball tends to have a lot of movement. Thornton's issue this season has been giving up contact, as he's allowed 35 hits in 33.1 innings, to go along with 19 walks issued. He's had some struggles giving up hard contact in the past, but has seemed to eliminate a lot of that this season, now being a victim primarily of walks and singles.
While Thorton has given up a ton of base runners he's done an effective job of leaving them on base, as his 1.69 ERA with the Jays and 4.18 ERA with the Bisons show. However, he does have a WHIP of 1.5 or higher for both clubs, which is quite a bit higher than his numbers in both AAA and the major league level last season so the ays might have had to come to the tough decision that his numbers won't improve. Thornton is only 29 however, and with tons of Major League experience, it wouldn't be a shock to see "butters" dealt with in the coming days.
With the DFA of Thornton, it frees up a 40-man roster spot for the newly acquired Génesis Cabrera. With the Blue Jays featuring an impending battle roster spots with Hyun Jin Ryu and Chad Green reaching their returns from injury, this move seems as if it could be the first of many for the Blue Jays before the season's end.