Is Blue Jays John Stilson Finally Healthy?

Blue Jays’ John Stilson appears healthy and ready to put his arm troubles behind him

 

 

What does a healthy John Stilson mean to the Toronto Blue Jays?

A power arm who throws in the mid-90’s, can touch 97mph, and can control his fastball. Stilson also throws a change and slider. Both offspeed pitches are considered plus offerings and are thrown in the mid-80’s change.

Jay Blue over at Jays From Away reported that Stilson is looking good and had this scouting report on the 6’3″ lefty,

Stilson sat 94-95 with his fastball, touching 96 mph with good control. He also threw a very nice 85 mph changeup that vexed the hitters. It was a very short outing for Stilson, meaning that I didn’t see very much. Now that he’s healthy, he could be a pitcher that the Blue Jays call upon for a big arm at some point during the season.(visit site)

This is good news for a guy that looked primed to join Toronto’s bullpen in 2014 after posting a strong WHIP in May (1.154) and June (1.333) before being shut down for the season. In 25 games John went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA, 3.92 FIP, 8.47 K/9, and 4.76 BB/9 for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

As it turned out, Stilson torn his labrum in his throwing arm. This was the same labrum which caused him issues in his draft and resulted in him dropping to the 3rd round where Toronto was happy to snatch him up. Stilson decided to forego surgery, opting instead to go with rest, strengthening and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, his maximum effort delivery caught up with him in 2014 and surgery was required.

In 2015, John’s season started and ended on the same day. Pitching for the Dunedin Blue Jays against Lakeland Flying Tigers, Stilson lasted 1.1IP and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits with 4 strike outs. Not bad for guy that had surgery less than a year ago, in his first live game.

Not so fast, as he was shut down for the entire 2015 season after his arm barked at him.

The news that the hard throwing Texan appears healthy and ready to regain his status in the Blue Jays’ farm system as a potential set-up man or closer is great news for a system that had its upper minors pillaged by the former General Manger during last year’s trade deadline. Stilson is expected to begin the year pitching out of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats bullpen, but should expect to move quickly to Buffalo if the results are there.

The 25-yr-old Stilson is a breakout candidate in 2016. While a remote possibility, he could even find himself in Toronto by the All-Star break if he’s able to put anything close to his career numbers of 3.38 ERA with a WHIP of 1.39 and close to 9 strike outs per 9 innings pitched.

Who knows, maybe Stilson could make it easier to transition Roberto Osuna back into a starting role in 2017….but first he needs to prove he can stay healthy.

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: TC Cheever UNDER: CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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Ryan Mueller

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.