Blue Jays: Mitch White will officially open the year on the injured list
By Eric Treuden
Saturday has been a news filled day in the world of the Toronto Blue Jays.
First, Jay Jackson, who had been highly impressive in eight Spring Training outings, was informed that he had not made the Opening Day roster and subsequently released.
Second, Nate Pearson, who seemed to be in a position to make the roster, was optioned down to the minor leagues alongside Zach Thompson, who seemed to have an outside chance himself.
Now, Mitch White, widely expected to open the year as the Jays' sixth starter/long-reliever, will officially be placed on the injured list to start the season thanks to elbow inflammation he is dealing with as he recovers from a shoulder impingement.
White, 28, was going to compete with Yusei Kikuchi for the fifth starter role to open camp, but that quickly changed when he was slow to start and Kikuchi evolved into an otherworldly talent seemingly overnight.
Instead, White won't be on the Opening Day roster at all as he recovers. Blue Jays manager John Schneider has said that he is fine opening the regular season without a true long-relief option on the club. Trevor Richards and Zach Pop, who is now all but guaranteed to get a spot on the roster, are multi-inning-capable arms so it seems that that is the plan for now.
Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2022 trade deadline, White struggled to find any real consistency at the big league level. He made 10 appearances (eight starts) for the Jays and was 0-5 with a 7.74 ERA and 51 ERA+.
It's worth noting that White was not quite as awful as some of his numbers suggest he was. In 43 innings as a Blue Jay, he had a 3.76 FIP, which suggests that he could've been getting unlucky on the mound thanks to the suspect defense behind him.