John Schneider says Ricky Tiedemann is 'in the mix' for Opening Day roster spot

Mar 21, 2024; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (70) walks to the
Mar 21, 2024; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (70) walks to the / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we all are well aware of the massive amounts of uncertainties the Toronto Blue Jays are facing as we near the beginning of the 2024 regular season.

There are a ton of players, including Danny Jansen, Yariel Rodriguez, Alek Manoah, Erik Swanson, Kevin Gausman and Jordan Romano, whose statuses remain unclear ahead of Opening Day. The Blue Jays will have many decisions to make come Monday, which is the final spring training game of the year.

With Manoah having a hard time getting fully up to speed, Bowden Francis was able to secure a spot in the starting rotation. In speaking to Francis last year, he told Jays Journal that his long-term goal was to stick in the big leagues as a starting pitcher. Him making the rotation out of camp is one of the top feel-good stories in this young 2024 season.

However, there's one more player who is reportedly "still in the mix" for a spot on the roster, and that would be top prospect Ricky Tiedemann.

Speaking to reporters, John Schneider rattled off a few names of who could take Gausman's rotation spot if he's not ready to start the season. Mitch White earned a name drop, as did Wes Parsons, Rodriguez, Paolo Espino and Tiedemann.

Seeing Tiedemann crack the Opening Day roster would be huge. The 21-year-old has made three spring starts, striking out eight batters and walking three in just under seven innings of work. He's been flashing his lethal high-90s fastball, wipeout slider and dominant changeup left and right, and has looked incredible.

On Tiedemann, Schneider acknowledged that he thought the young southpaw would need some time in the high-minors to build up before making a big league debut.

"I think everyone kinda is. When you're trying to win, you're trying to put the best roster out there for the time being — or for the long term,. I think [Thursday] night was great. Great performance by him, kind of turned the corner a bit in his camp. But yeah, he's in the mix, just like a lot of other guys... we're just trying to put the best team out there."

After making 15 starts across four minor league levels last year, Tiedemann may indeed need some of that additional minor league seasoning before cracking the big league roster, but he has still looked filthy. He followed up a successful regular season last year with four sparkling Arizona Fall League starts in which he had a 2.50 ERA with 23 strikeouts in just 18 innings of work.

One plausible idea would be for Tiedemann to break camp with the Blue Jays and then be sent back to Triple-A Buffalo for additional refinement once someone like Gausman or Manoah returns from the injured list (if a stint is needed). It feels unlikely that Tiedemann would make the team in a relief role, so he's either going to make the rotation as a Gausman injury replacement, or he'll start in Buffalo. Either way, we'll be finding out sometime in the next few days.