Join Jays From the Couch as we cover the arms in the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A Buffalo Bisons bullpen as of June 23rd.
We’re at the halfway mark in the Minor League season. I started with a look at the current status of all four full-season rotations.
- Triple-A Buffalo Bisons click here.
- Double-a Fisher Cats click here.
- Advanced-A D-Jays click here.
- A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts click here.
The Buffalo Bisons bullpen has a pair of MLB/MiLB vets, a couple arms who made their MLB debuts in 2017, and a couple arms making a solid case to make their MLB debuts in 2018. The Bisons may not have the Roberto Osuna but their bullpen consists of replacement arms for Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera if the Blue Jays begin selling off pieces.
Al Alburquerque (32)
The 6-foot-0 right-handed reliever was signed on January 25th, 2018 to a minor league contract after electing for free agency on December 1st. Al has 264 MLB appearances and almost 300 strikeouts under his belt.
June 22th- 1.0 IP, 3-H, 3-R, 1-BB, 1-K, 35 pitches, 2-GB, and 1-FB.
10 appearances, 9.0 IP, 1-0, 2.00 ERA, 1-BB, 7-K, .265 Opp BA, 1.11 WHIP
8.03 K/9, .343 BABIP, 74.7 LOB%, 3.97 FIP, and 3.35 xFIP
Rhiner Cruz (31)
The 6-foot-2 right-hander signed a minor contract on January 25th, 2018 and placed on the disabled list on April 2nd. He made his 2018 Buffalo debut on June 10th. Cruz has 72 MLB appearances and 56 strikeouts the Houston Astros between 2012 and 2013.
June 22nd- 1.1IP, 3-H, 0-R, 2-BB, 1-K, 22 pitches, 2-GB, and 0-FB.
12.60 K/9, .200 BABIP, 100.0 LOB%, 3.72 FIP, and 2.47 xFIP
Conor Fisk (26)
Drafted in the 24th round, Fisk started the season in Double-A New Hampshire and received a promotion to Triple-A on May 8th. The righty spent most of 2017 in the Advanced-A Dunedin rotation but has yet to make a start in 2018. Fisk provides Buffalo with a valuable multi-inning reliever and a reliable one.
June 19th 2.2 IP, 2-H, 1-R, 1-BB, 1-K, 54 pitches, 6-GB, and 2-FB.
6 appearances, 14.1 IP, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 3-BB, 8-K, .146 Opp BA, 0.70 WHIP.
6.46 K/9, .212 BABIP, 81.6 LOB%, 3.20 FIP, and 3.93 xFIP
Tim Mayza (26)
A 12th round selection in the 2013 Draft, Mayza has already been called up to the Blue Jays bullpen four times. The lefty chucks a 95 mph 4-seamer and an 87 mph slider and has made 29 MLB appearances over the past two seasons.
June 20th GF- 1.1 IP, 0-H, 0-R, 0-BB, 1-K, 15 pitches, 2-GB, and 1-FB
6 appearances, 7.2 IP, 3-0, 1.17 ERA, 2-BB, 9-K, .148 Opp BA, 0.78 WHIP
11.93 K/9, .324 BABIP, 66.3 LOB%, 2.83 FIP, and 2.95 xFIP
Jake Petricka (30)
A former 2nd round selection of the Chicago White Sox, Petricka signed a minor league contract on February 8th. Petricka started the year on the DL and had his contract selected by Toronto on May 4th. The righty has made 9 appearances with the Blue Jays but was hit hard and returned to Buffalo on June 1st.
June 21st- 3.0 IP, 3-H, 0-R, 1-BB, 1-K, 32 pitches, 6-GB, and 0-FB
1 appearance , 2.0IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1-BB, 1-K, .375 Opp BA, 4.00 WHIP
6.00 K/9, .298 BABIP, 78.3 LOB%, 3.46 FIP, and 2.89 xFIP
Luis Santos (27)
The 6-foot-0 right-hander looked decent in 10 appearances with Toronto in 2017; however, he was scorched for 6 runs on 5 hits over 1.2IP in his only MLB appearance in 2018. Santos was outrighted on May 6th and has looked good for the Bisons. Santos throws a mid-90’s fastball as well as a mid-80 curve and change. He can fill in as a starter or long man.
June 20th – 2.1 IP, 5-H, 2-R, 0-BB, 6-K, 61 pitches, 2-GB, and 0-FB
6 appearance and 1 start, 14.1 IP, 1-0, 1.88 ERA, 4-BB, 13-K, .200 Opp BA, 1.05 WHIP
8.05 K/9, .286 BABIP, 70.5 LOB%, 2.75 FIP, and 3.98 xFIP
Justin Shafer (25)
Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 8th round in 2014, Shafer had a breakout season in 2017 with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Shafer continues to have success with a mid-90’s sinker and 4-seam fastball mixing in a mid-80 slider and change, receiving a promotion to Buffalo on May 19th. Shafer appears to have taken over the Bisons closer role but has also shown the ability to set up.
June 17th SV- 1.0 IP, 0-H, 0-R, 0-BB, 1-K, 13 pitches, 2-GB, and 0-FB
6 appearances, 8.0IP, 1-1, 0.00 ERA, 1-SV, 3-BB, 5-K, .154 Opp BA, 0.88 WHIP
5 appearance , 7.0IP, 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 4-SV, 2-BB, 1-K, .182 Opp BA, 0.86 WHIP
5.40 K/9, .194 BABIP, 84.6 LOB%, 3.47 FIP, and 4.74 xFIP
Matt Dermody (27)
On DL since April 30th
Sam Moll (26)
On DL since June 17th.
May 29th W- 1.0IP, 4-H, 3-R, 16 pitches, 3-GB, and 0-FB
9 appearances, 9.2 IP, 0-2, 6.52 ERA, 4-BB, 7-K, .340 Opp BA, 2.07 WHIP
9.16 K/9, .371 BABIP, 52.5 LOB%, 2.95 FIP, and 3.52 xFIP
I expect to see Mayza, Santos, and Petricka back in Toronto if and when the fire sale starts. We can expect Alburquerque to see time with the Blue Jays before Fisk or Shafer; however, if Shafer continues to be successful closing games he could force his way onto the 40-man roster.
*Featured Image Credit: DaveMe images
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.