On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays made a big splash prior to the trade deadline by acquiring hard-throwing right-hander Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals. In return, the Jays had to part with two promising pitching prospects in RHP Adam Kloffenstein and RHP Sem Robberse.
Both Kloffenstein and Robberse were believed to be part of the Jays’ starting rotation in the near future after having a solid year so far in 2023 in their minor league system. Kloffenstein, a third round draft pick by the Jays back in the 2018 MLB Draft, had been playing for the Jays’ Double-A affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats in which he posted an impressive 5-5 record with a 3.24 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, with a whopping 105 strikeouts in just 89 innings pitched in 17 starts. For Robberse, also playing for the Fisher Cats for the 2023 season, has compiled a 3-5 record with a 4.06 ERA, 1.17 WHIP with 86 strikeouts in 88.2 innings of work in 18 starts.
This was a huge price for the Jays to pay for a deadline rental, as Robberse currently is the Jays’ seventh-ranked prospect on their MLB Pipeline Top Prospects list, along with the fact that starting pitching depth in the organization is already running paper thin, so now losing two more up and coming starters will definitely put them in a bind perhaps in the near future.
Nevertheless, with the current injury to closer Jordan Romano, getting one of the best reliever arms in the game was a must. In Hicks, the Jays get a proven big game pitcher with huge strikeout ability, as in 2023, he has tallied 59 punchouts in just 41.2 innings pitched, to go along with his respectable 3.67 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. Being now traded to a contending team should give him that much more motivation in doing his best to help the team reach the playoffs for the second consecutive season.