Jays From the Couch review the projected 2017 starting rotation for the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays
Toronto’s Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays were the only Blue Jays full season minor league team to make the playoffs in 2016. The club used a strong bullpen and strong offensive production to finish 3rd in the Florida State League North division with a 76 and 59 record.
The D-Jays had a so-so first half with a 33-36 record but were nearly unstoppable in the second half with 43 wins and 23 losses. In the 2nd-Half the D-Jays benefited from a stronger rotation, a rotation that should return in 2017.
2016 Dunedin Rotation Summary
Dunedin started 2016 with a rotation that featured a pair of pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery in Ryan Borucki and Tom Robson. Neither pitcher stuck with the D-Jays with a combined 36.2IP between the pair.
Conner Greene was a surprise addition to the D-Jays rotation/roster but seemed to take it in stride. Greene was Dunedin’s best starter despite some control issues. He was promoted to New Hampshire on June 30th after posting a record of 4 and 4 with a 2.90 ERA in Dunedin.
Luis Santos pitched 4 innings with a relief appearance and a start before heading to New Hampshire. This quick move to Double-A left a gaping hole in an already weak rotation forcing the D-Jays to utilize the services of Brad Allen, Conor Fisk, and Chris Rowley to fill the void.
Justin Shafer was expected to shine in 2016 but quickly found himself on the DL (April 15th). He remained on the disable list until May 9th, struggling upon his return. Shafer led the D-Jays with 20 starts but put up some unimpressive BB/K numbers.
Reinforcements came in the form of Francisco Rios (May 10th), Sean Reid-Foley (June 16th) and Jon Harris (July 23rd). The addition of the trio, combined with the improved 2nd half performance of Justin Shafer and the emergence of Chris Rowley.
Projected Dunedin Blue Jays 2017 Rotation
RHP Sean Reid-Foley
RHP Jon Harris
RHP Ryan Borucki
LHP Angel Perdomo
RHP Jordan Romano
Sean Reid-Foley should be on the mound for the Dunedin Blue Jays on Opening Day. Unless the Front Office decide that his 6-2 record, 2.67 ERA, and 57.1 FSL innings are enough to fast track him to Double-A New Hampshire. This is unlikely considering the cautious approach taken by the organization with Conner Greene; however, SRF won’t be in Florida long if he dominates early.
Jon Harris should follow SRF in the rotation, but he’ll need to develop a major league plus pitch or risk a plateau in the FSL.
Ryan Borucki will get his second shot at conquering the FSL in 2017. He will be better prepared, mentally and physically, for the challenge this time around and should quickly step into the ACE role once SRF moves up the ladder.
Angel Perdomo was left in A-Ball for the entire year to work on repeating his delivery. Don’t be surprised to see some early season struggles from the tall lefty.
Jordan Romano turns 24-yrs-old on April 21st. Many feel that the Markham native is better suited for the bullpen but should be given every opportunity to start for the D-Jays after a dominate return the Lugnuts in 2016.
5th Spot Darkhorse Candidates
It’s possible that the organization hands out some aggressive assignments to Sean Reid-Foley and Jon Harris. This would open the door for Conor Fisk and Chris Rowley to step into the rotation; however, if the organization decides to be aggressive with SRF and Harris they could also go that route with T.J. Zeuch and Justin Maese.
I have T.J. Zeuch and Justin Maese penciled in with the Lansing Lugnuts, but it is possible that the 21-yr-old Zeuch moves quickly through the system in 2017. If Borucki or Romano struggle early, a move to the bullpen could open the door for last year’s 1st round pick.
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem JFtC
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