Blue Jays outright Zach Thompson to Triple-A Buffalo

Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Zach Thompson (46)
Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Zach Thompson (46) / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays recalled Bowden Francis with the free spot opened up from the Alek Manoah option. To make room for Francis on the 40-man roster, Zach Thompson was DFA’d but after going unclaimed on waivers, he was sent outright to Triple-A Buffalo. 

Thompson was acquired earlier this year in exchange for Chavez Young, in a move that was a way for the Jays to bolster their minor league pitching depth in case of injuries or underperformances. However, the Jays opted to bring up Francis instead because of Thompson’s struggles in the minor leagues this season. In his 12 starts he has pitched to a 6.40 ERA in 52.0 IP. Not only are these stats far below serviceable, but his strikeout figure also took a major hit. In his career at Triple-A he has an 8.7 SO/9, but this year it has tanked all the way down to 5.9.  

It’s a pretty steep fall from a player who emerged as a swingman type for the Marlins pitching department in 2021. During that season, he had a 3.24 ERA in 14 starts and 12 relief appearances for 75.0 IP. He seemed to be finding his groove in the MLB, and becoming another prime example of an older player performing once he got his chance. Except the next season it all came crashing down. For the Pirates, he had a 5.18 ERA in 22 starts and 7 relief appearances across 121.2 IP.   

Thompson’s role the rest of the season is plain and simple: finish the year off strong. Since who knows, in the next coming months the Jays may need to bring another guy up to fill a hole, and if they can get similar numbers to what he posted from his time in Miami. Then he has the possibility to become an important member of a bullpen that has already had its fair share of difficulties this year.