Jays From the Couch looks at how one of the Blue Jays top pitching prospects, Ryan Borucki, fared in his first start of 2017
Toronto Blue Jays Minor League system got under way Thursday. While Buffalo, new Hampshire, and Lansing were rained out on Opening Day, the Dunedin Blue Jays were able to get their Opener in, losing 3-1 to the Clearwater Threshers.
Ryan Borucki was a surprise addition to the Blue Jays 40-man roster this offseason, started the opener for the Dunedin Blue Jays. While pitching well enough to win on most nights Borucki took his first the loss of 2017.
You never like to lose but this was a bittersweet loss for Borucki.
Borucki opened last season with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Unfortunately, his season got off to a rough start. In his first start of 2016, Borucki lasted just 4.1 innings allowing 8 runs. He gave up a pair of runs in the first. Then allowed 4 runs to cross in the 3rd on a pair of home runs. After pitching a scoreless 4th, Borucki was lifted in the 5th after surrendering 2 more runs (one inherited) on a leadoff triple followed by a run-scoring single.
Borucki made 6 starts in Dunedin before being demoted to Lansing on May 10th with an ugly 1-4 record and 14.40 ERA.
To be fair, Borucki being assigned to the Advanced-A Blue Jays was a steep assignment. Borucki missed most of the 2015 problems which caused him to miss all of 2013. The young man with the promising changeup hadn’t pitched a game since July 16th, 2015, in Vancouver.
Not many prospects can jump from short-season A-Ball straight to full-season Advanced-A, especially prospects with only 5 innings in ‘15 and 28 innings in total in Vancouver.
Fortunately, the Illinois native turned his season around in Lansing, becoming one the Midwest’s best pitchers and finishing 2nd with a 2.41 ERA. The Blue Jays Front Office are looking for him to build on that success in his second go around wit the D-Jays.
The good news is Borucki looks like he’s ready to take on the Florida State League and he showed it in his first start.
Ryan Borucki perfect through 3. Up to 95 in the 3rd. Mixing and matching very well keeping everyone off-balance #BlueJays
— Chris King (@StatsKing) April 6, 2017
In his 2017 debut, Ryan Borucki threw 80 pitches, 49 for strikes over five innings. He walked the first batter he faced for his first free pass of the season; fortunately, he erased the base runner with his first pickoff of the season. Clearwater didn’t get another baserunner until the 4th inning, thanks to a Matt Dean throwing error, as Borucki retired the next 9 faced after the leadoff walk.
Whether it was the error or pitching out of the stretch, Borucki wasn’t himself after, allowing back-to-back doubles and 2 runs in the inning.
The 6-foot-4 left-hander regained his composure in the 5th, getting 2 quick outs on a ground ball and strikeout before hitting the third batter he faced. A stolen base and a 2-out single brought in the Threshers third run. Borucki struck out the next batter.
Pitching Line: 5.0IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 4K
Borucki threw 80 pitches, 49 strikes, generated 8 ground ball outs and just 2 fly ball outs.
If LHP Ryan Borucki pitches like this through the first two months of the season the Dunedin Blue Jays will need to find another starter. As a member of the 40-man roster, Ryan Borucki will move swiftly up the system if he is able to replicate his 2016 number with Lansing in Dunedin.
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: C Stem JFtC
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