Blue Jays: When will Ricky Tiedemann make his debut and what can we expect?

Jul 16, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; American League Futures relief pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (31)
Jul 16, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; American League Futures relief pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (31) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If you're a Toronto Blue Jays fan and haven't heard of Ricky Tiedemann, you should get acquainted with the young pitching prospect, as we could be seeing him in a Blue Jays uniform soon.

The 6-foot-4 lefty burst onto the minor league scene in a big way in 2022. He not only pitched but dominated at three levels, moving through Low-A to High-A before finishing the season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Double-A.

Through 78.2 innings and 18 starts, he posted a stellar 2.17 ERA and ridiculously low 0.86 WHIP with 117 strikeouts and only 29 walks. To top it all off, he did most of this as a 19-year-old.

The only thing that held him back in 2022 was workload management. As Shi Davidi reported for Baseball America, "while the organization didn't have an innings target for Tiedemann, Atkins said player development staff set 'guardrails' that led to a shutdown at the end of August to protect him from overuse."

The scouting report grades his three pitches (fastball, slider and changeup) as above-average offerings with good command. His repertoire was on full display during his Double-A debut in August.

His fastball sits at 95-96 mph and can reach 97+ mph. In his live scouting report, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs touts Tiedemann's fastball as "both bat-missing and grounder-inducing."

His mid-80s changeup and hard slider are quality pitches that keep hitters honest. Per, the slider has been key to keeping hitters off his fastball.

So, when can you expect to see the talented prospect pitching in a Jays uniform?

Tiedemann only got four starts and 11 innings in Double-A, so he may begin 2023 back in New Hampshire. Although, with the success he's already had there, seeing him start the season in Triple-A wouldn't be surprising.

There's also chatter that he could join the Blue Jays sometime in 2023. He's already shown a propensity for moving through levels quickly in his young career, so if all goes well in the minors early on, we could see him in Toronto sooner rather than later.

Fans eager to see the young stud join the big club may have to pump the brakes. It looks like GM Ross Atkins and the Jays, at least to start the season, are committed to giving Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White first dibs at the fifth rotation spot.

But Tiedemann might get a shot if something goes sideways with the rotation, be it injuries or Kikuchi and White struggling like last season. Atkins appears to be leaving that possibility open with his "some prospects that are exciting" comment.

Keep in mind that the front office didn't hesitate to bring Alek Manoah up, despite minimal minor league experience, when they needed rotation help in 2021. We see how that decision ended up working out for the club.

Even if the Jays don't require Tiedemann's services in the majors this season, there's always a chance he could get called up at the end of the season to get his feet wet and pitch out of the bullpen. This would give him a leg up on securing a rotation spot for 2024.

For now, fans will just have to wait and see how Spring Training and the early season plays out, both for the Jays and Tiedemann.

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