Former Blue Jays reliever proving why moving on from him was the right choice
By Eric Treuden
Despite the fact that he was never able to stay healthy or perform when given the chance in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, there were actually quite a few fans who were upset when Julian Merryweather was designated for assignment and later claimed off of waivers by the Chicago Cubs.
The 31-year-old is perhaps best known as being the player to be named later in the Toronto/Cleveland trade that sent 2015 MVP Josh Donaldson packing from the Blue Jays. He wound up making 47 appearances for the Jays, posting a 5.64 ERA and 4.36 FIP in 52.2 innings of work.
Joining former Jays Anthony Kay and Ryan Borucki in the Cubs' organization, this fit seemed pretty solid on paper as Merryweather, a classic change-of-scenery candidate, would get a chance to excel on the rebuilding Cubs.
Instead, he's been off to a historically awful start in Chicago. In Thursday's game against the Mariners, Merryweather surrendered a massive home run off the bat of another former Blue Jay, outfielder Teoscar Hernández.
Just a few minutes later, Merryweather was at it again, this time surrendering an absolute nuke off the bat of Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic's 482ft. blast to dead-center is officially the longest home run hit in Wrigley Field since the start of the Statcast era in 2015.
We don't ever actively want to see anyone fail on a baseball field. However, this horrendous start to the season from Merryweather is proof that moving on from him this past offseason was the right move. He currently sports a 12.71 ERA in 5.2 innings of work. He has struck out five batters but has surrendered eight earned runs on 10 hits.
While the 2023 Blue Jays bullpen has appeared to be shaky at times (primarily Trevor Richards, Anthony Bass and Jordan Romano early on), fans can rest easy knowing that cutting Merryweather loose was definitely the right choice by Ross Atkins and Co.