After a slow start, Blue Jays pitching prospects Jon Harris and Sean Reid-Foley are riding high at the right time
The Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff is in shambles. Aaron Sanchez is back on the disabled list…again. Marco Estrada can’t buy a win. Francisco Liriano owns a 6.00+ ERA. Leaving Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ to carry the load by themselves.
Options are good, right?
Blue Jay fans have suffered through rotation fillers Mat Latos, Casey Lawrence, Mike Bolsinger, and Lucas Harrell. None of these starting pitchers were able to find success with Latos and Lawrence eventually being handed their exit papers. While the failures of these pitchers prompted the Blue Jays to move Joe Biagini to the rotation; unfortunately, the valuable reliever wasn’t able to stick.
With the Trade Deadline a week away there is a possibility that Toronto’s rotation will be weakened further. For weeks I’ve heard how the pitching prospects the Blue Jays have in the upper minors aren’t ready to contribute at the major league level.
Moving down a level the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats have one of the more talented rotations in the system. Problem is, they haven’t really performed as expected in 2017.
Conner Greene owns a record of 4-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 18 starts. Greene posted good ERA’s in May (3.26) and June (3.92) but has fallen apart in July with an 11.66 ERA in 4 starts.
Shane Dawson hasn’t been good all season and owns a record of 3-9 with a 5.95 ERA
Francisco Rios has had an up and down season. Rios posted a record of 3-9 with a 4.03 ERA but landed on the disabled list on July 17th.
Jon Harris owns a record of 5-9 with a 5.18 ERA and leads the Fisher Cats with 99.0 IP. Harris posted a 6.00+ ERA in April and June and 5.00+ ERA in May. On July 18th, the 2015 1st rounder had his shortest outing of the season lasting 0.2IP after allowing 7 runs on 8 hits.
Rock bottom right?
Since the July 18th blow out, Harris has made 5 starts. He’s thrown 31.1 innings, allowed 9 earned runs, walked 10, and struck out 22. Harris has gone 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.158 WHIP during this hot streak.
Sean Reid-Foley has improved each month. SRF started the season with back-to-back months with plus 5.00ERA. June saw the former 2nd round pick finish with a record of 2-3 and an ERA below 5.00 (4.23). Reid-Foley has followed that up with a strong July, posting a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 3.52 in 4 starts.
Overall, SRF owns a record of 7-7 with a 4.48 ERA. His K/9IP (8.66) and BB/9IP (3.97) numbers are both down from 2016. In 19 starts SRF has allowed 12 HR, good for 1.22 HR/9.
While the overall numbers aren’t inspiring. The performance of Jon Harris and Sean Reid-Foley over the past two months is what we should be focusing on. SRF’s and Jon Harris’ hot streak may give them a chance to pitch some innings in Toronto if the Blue Jays make changes to their starting rotation at the Deadline. Otherwise, they could see some time when rosters expand in September.
The alternative is having to watch non-prospects TJ House and Brett Oberholtzer as Toronto closes out a disastrous season.
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC
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