Checking in on how the minor league portion of the Blue Jays' 40-man roster did in May

Feb 28, 2023; Clearwater, Florida, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a
Feb 28, 2023; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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With one full month of Minor League Baseball underway, it's time to take our second look at the minor-league portion of the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster. You can click here to check out last month's update.


Yosver Zulueta: After starting the season as a short-stint starter, Buffalo has decided to move the hard-throwing Cuban to the bullpen full-time and the results have proven there's still a lot of room for growth. Zulueta's ERA as a "starter" was 4.80 and pitching out of the bullpen has been 5.59, so he's actually taken a step back since the transition. The Ks have been there (19 in 14.2 innings in May), but he's going to need to lower his walk rate (9.20 per 9 last month) to earn a shot in the majors.

Thomas Hatch: After a couple of up-and-down seasons Hatch has impressed this year so far. After a so-so April, he started off May the same before really picking things up. Hatch fired five straight scoreless appearances from May 9th to May 26th (two of which were with the Blue Jays) and only walked five compared to 14 strikeouts. It might be cheating to include his June 1st appearance on this list, but in his second start of the season, the righty threw 3 innings only allowing one hit. While it appears the team might be stretching him out, Hatch continues to look like a solid bulk man out of the 'pen, and a potential long man if the team needs multiple innings.

Trent Thornton: This month for Thornton started off decent but ended earlier than he hoped after being placed on the IL back on the 24th. The righty was throwing to a 3.24 ERA before his injury, but a glaring issue was how many walks and hits he was giving up. Thornton had six walks versus five strikeouts in the month and allowed nine hits in his 8.1 innings. Fortunately for Thornton, only one of those hits was a homer and five of them were singles but his may WHIP of 1.80 will need to significantly decrease once he gets healthy to earn a recall.

Hagen Danner: The 24-year-old Danner's early season success seems to have caught the attention of the Blue Jays who promoted him to Triple-A at the end of May. Danner allowed a solo home run and nothing else in his debut with the Bisons striking out two. He was absolutely electric at the Double-A level, allowing only three earned runs in May (all of which came in one game) and only issued two walks the entire month. 16 strikeouts in nine innings will carry, and if he continues his impressive stretch it won't be long before he's up with the big league ballclub.

Zach Thompson: The first two months of Thompson's time in the Blue Jays organization have been less than ideal, to put it nicely. He posted a 7.71 ERA in the month of April, so surely things would improve in May right? Wrong. Well ok, Thompson did technically put up a better May with a 7.52 ERA but that's still not even close to what the Blue Jays were hoping for when they acquired him this offseason. Opponents are hitting .298 against the tall righty this season and he gave up five home runs for the second consecutive month. A huge cause for concern has been at-bats against lefties, who are slashing .319/.393/.500 with 11 walks to 12 strikeouts. Thompson is 29, so if a 40-man spot is needed elsewhere, he might find himself booted off the roster.

Jay Jackson: Just like Aaron Judge, Jackson's May stats might want to make you look away. After working three innings with the Blue Jays (with the only blemish being the monster home run he allowed) Jackson was optioned back down to Triple-A and since then it's been a struggle. Since the demotion, the righty has allowed seven earned runs in 4.2 innings, including two home runs. Jackson is still a reliable arm and has experience at the major league level so we'll have to see if he can figure out the pitch-tipping issue he mentioned earlier this month.

As for the hitters, some prospects are finally heating up, and one important name is nearing a return from an early season injury.