The Toronto Blue Jays need help in the bullpen. Toronto may not need to look any further than farmhand RHP Ty Tice
This offseason, the Blue Jays have said good-bye to Justin Shafer, Ryan Tepera, Derek Law, Jason Adams, Brock Stewart, and Buddy Boshers. They have signed A.J. Cole and Justin Miller to minor league deals and claimed Anthony Bass off waivers.
The Blue Jays are expected to carry 13 pitchers (5-SP and 8-RP); therefore, this leaves two or three spots open in the bullpen. Not including potential injuries.
So far, I’ve looked at Jackson McClelland (link), Hector Perez (linK), Kirby Snead (link), Travis Bergen (link), and Jordan Romano (link) as possible internal options. Shaun Doyle checked in on Sean Reid-Foley as another possible option (link). Today, I’d like to offer up a former 16th round selection from the 2017 Draft.
RHP Ty Tice
The 23-yr-old reliever has quietly soared through the Toronto Blue Jays system. Over the past two seasons, Ty Tice has conquered two levels per season. In 2018, Ty made 10 appearances as a member of the A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts (0-0, 5SV, 0.00ERA) and made 34 appearances as a member of the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays (6-6, 3SV, 2.70ERA).
With nothing left to prove at the Advanced-A level, Ty Tice started the 2019 season as a member of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. In his first taste of AA, he posted a 1-3 record and 2.38ERA with a blown save, 3BB, 17K, and 1.06WHIP in 9 appearances (11.1IP). Tice was quickly pitching in high leverage situations with 3 saves in 9 appearances (10.0IP) in May. In May, he posted a 0.00ERA, walking 5 and striking out 5 while holding opponents to a .091BA.
After grabbing another save and throwing 3.1 scoreless innings in 2 appearances to open June, the Blue Jays promoted the 5-foot-9 reliever to Triple-A on June 13th. He would make 6 appearances as a member of the Bisons’ bullpen, picking up 2 wins while posting a 1.80ERA, walking 6, and striking out 11 over 10.0IP.
Once again, Ty Tice began to see high leverage situations in Triple-A as he picked up 3 saves in July. He made 10 appearances (11.2IP) for the Herd in July, walking 7 batters and striking out 15 with a 2.31ERA and 1.46WHIP. The righty reliever struggled in August (0-1, 4.35ERA, 1-for-3 saves in 9 app) and finished the year on the IL (September 2nd).
Between AA and AAA, Ty Tice posted a record of 3-4, 2.34ERA over 46 appearances and 57.2IP while converting 8 of 12 save opportunities.
Surprisingly, Ty saw his K/9 increased from 8.39 to 11.18 during his time in Triple-A. Unfortunately, his BB/9 went the other way, going from 2.92 up to an ugly 5.73. Tice did a much better job of leaving runners on base with Buffalo, improving his LOB% from 59.1% in the Eastern League to 77.2% in the International League.
During his time with Buffalo, IL batters posted a 27.1LD% compared to a 12.5LD% in Double-A. Tice also saw his GB% drop from 50% with New Hampshire to 38.8% with the Herd. However, he also saw his FB% dip from 37.5% (AA) to 34.1% (AAA). Along with the increased LD%, Tice saw his infield fly ball percentage increase from 20.8% to 41.4%…..that is a lot of easy outs for the Bisons’ infield.
In Triple-A, LHB batted .220 with 7 walks, 19K, and a 1.28WHIP over 15.2IP. RHB posted a .250BA while walking 14 and striking out 22. Tice finished with an uninspiring 1.79WHIP in 17.1IP against RHB.
His 5-foot-9 frame will no doubt get many stupid descriptors such as diminutive, short, tiny, under-sized, or the ever insulting pint-sized. But make no mistake, Ty Tice has legit major-league fastball which he routinely throws in the mid-90’s. Ty also a nice combination of slider and curves to keep batters off balance.
Obviously, Tice will need to tighten up his control to lower his 5+ BB/9 to a more manageable BB/9 but it appears he is on pace to make his MLB debut sometime in 2020. Will it be as a member of the Blue Jays Opening Day roster? Unlikely but a good spring could make it a possibility.
Ty Tice will be Rule V eligible at the end of 2020. If you know my philosophy when it comes to managing the 40-man, you’ll know that I want to see other arms already on the 40-man get a chance before adding an arm. Therefore, I don’t see Ty Tice pitching for the Blue Jays until June or July. In the meantime, Tice can be found pitching the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of JFtC Ryan Mueller
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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.