Toronto Blue Jays 2016 MiLB Wrap-Up: GCL Pitchers

Join Jays From the Couch in wrapping up the Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Gulf Coast League season, reviewing the GCL Blue Jays pitching staff




The Gulf Coast League Blue Jays had one heck of a season; unfortunately, so did the GCL Phillies. The GCL Blue Jays finished second behind the GCL Phillies (43-15), who they share the Northwest Division. Only the winner of each division make the playoffs, so……


Moving on.


On the mound the GCL Blue Jays were lead by Wilfri Aleton, and Yonardo Herdenez. The Blue Jays closer, Jared Carkuff was a force in the bullpen and was rewarded with a 2016 GCL All-Star selection. He will be joined by teammates 1B David Jacob and SS Bo Bichette.


I’ll look a little closer at Jacob and Bichette when I wrap up the GCL Blue Jays position players in the next day or two. For now, let’s look at the GCL Blue Jays pitching staff. This staff finished the year with a 3.39 ERA (9th), 16 saves (5th), 26 HRA (15th), 167 BB (6th), 410 K (11th), and 1.23 WHIP (5th).



There were 14 different pitchers to start at least one game for the Blue Jays in 2016. Maximo Castillo, Wilfri Aleton, Lue Chavez (traded), Dany Jimenez, Joel Espinal, Travis Hosterman, and Tyler Olander made at least five starts.


Maximo Castillo

The 17-yr-old righty started the year with the DSL Blue Jays receiving a promotion after just 11 IP. Castillo led the Blue Jays in GS with 9, pitching 39IP. He finished with a 2-3 record while sporting a 4.62 ERA. Castillo gave up almost a hit per inning (38), but only walked 13 which allowed him to finish with a respectable 1.31 WHIP. Maximo struck out 29.


Wilfri Aleton

After 3 years in the DSL this lefty finally showed some promise in 2016. He started the year off with a bang, striking out 10 over 5 innings.  The 20-yr-old would strike out 7 batters twice in 2016 and finished with 45 K over 49.1IP. Aleton should move on to Bluefield in 2017 after posting a 4-1 record and 2.92 ERA. He held GCL batters to a .229 batting average and finished with a 1.05 WHIP after walking just 11 and surrendering 41 hits.


Dany Jimenez

At 22-yr-old this  6’3″ RHP was a little old for the level. Jimenez made two really good starts with the DSL Blue Jays before moving stated side. Dany made 6 starts and 3 relief appearances. He finished with a record of 3-2 and an ERA of 3.29. Jimenez did good job of controlling the strike zone with 18 walks, 48 strike outs and holding opponents to a .173 batting average. Dany finished with 0.99 WHIP.


Joel Espinal

A native of Moncion, DR, Espinal started the year and ended the year with the GCL Blue Jays. He did make an appearance in Bluefield between July 22nd and August 24th. Unfortunately, Espinal was tuned up in Bluefield. With the GCL Blue Jays Espinal pitched to a 3-0 record and posted a 0.62 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. Joel would walk just 4 batters and strike out 30 in 29.0 IP.


Travis Hosterman

An 11th round selection in this year’s Draft, Hosterman made 8 appearances, 5 of them starts. Travis is a 6’3 lefty out of Oviedo Florida. The 18-yr-old never pitched  more than 4 innings, striking out a career high 4 batter over 2 innings during his 2nd outing. He would finish with no record, a 4.91 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.  Hosterman walked 10 and struck out 14 over 18.1 IP.


Tyler Olander

Indrafted, Olander was signed to a minor league contract on March 29th, 2016. An intriguing package,the 24-yr-old Olander stands 6’9″ and weighs 280 pounds. He made 5 starts, never pitching more than more than 2.1IP. Tyler made his debut on July 26th and started 5 games in August. He didn’t allow a run over 10.1IP, walking 6 and striking out 6.


Josh Winckowski

A 15th round select in this year’s draft, Josh finished with a 2-2 record in 5 appearances (3 starts). He walked 4 and struck out 13 in 13.2IP.



Yonardo Herdenez

A 20-yrs-old RHP out of Maracay, Venezuela. Yonardo just finished his 4th year in the Blue Jays organization, his first state side. In 11 games, Herdenez went 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. He held opponents to a .164 batting average, walked just 6 batters and struck out 26 over 42.1IP. He also converted a perfect 3-for-3 save opportunities.


Randy Pondler

Team leader with 5 wins, Pondler pitched 30.2 innings over 10 appearances. He struck out 20 and walked 12.


Orlando Pascual

20-yr-old Pascual made 14 relief appearances, striking out 19 and walking 5 over 26.1 IP. He finished with a 4-1 record and a 3.08ERA.


Jared Carkuff

As I stated earlier, Carkuff was named to the All-Star team. he finished with 4 wins and zero losses. He posted a 1.42 ERA and 0.91 WHIP while allowing 20 hits and 3 walks over 25.1IP. This 2016 35th round pick struck out 35 batters and finished the year making one appearance with the Vancouver Canadians.


Juan Meza

Signed to a big bonus in 2014, Meza hasn’t developed as projected. He owns a 7.88 ERA in 2 years with the Blue Jays. Meza finished 2016 with a 1-2 record, a 8.61 ERA, a horrid 2.04 WHIP. Opponents hit .343 off him. He walked 13 and struck out 10. I know at this stage stats are meaningless, but this is tough to look at.


William Ouellette

A 23 yr-old out of Fullerton, California, Ouellette saved 3 games, won one and posted a 3.22 ERA in 22.1 IP over 13 appearances. William also walked 7 and struck out 15.


Alvaro Galindo

After winning 8 games in 9 appearances with the DSL Blue Jays, the 18-yr-old Colombian struggled in 6 appearances with the GCL Blue Jays. Galindo allowed 15 runs over his final 5 appearances and finished with a 1-2 record and 6.23 ERA.


Jake Fishman

Another late LHP 2016 draft pick (30th), the 21-yr-old Fishman made 7 appearances. Apparently he has good movement on his pitches, resulting in a 2.88 groundball to flyball ratio. He finished with a 0-1 record and a 4.80 ERA. Jake had two rough appearances to start his pro career, surrendering 6 runs over 4 innings. The 6’3″ lefty would finish strong allowing 2 runs over his next and final 11 IP. Fishman walked 4 and struck out 13 but 21 hits allowed resulted in an ugly 1.67 WHIP.


There were 11 other pitchers to throw 7.2 or less innings for the GCL Blue Jays. Among them was Andrew Case of the Lansing Lugnuts (#CaseClosed), 1st round T.J. Zeuch, 3rd round Zach Jackson, and LHP Travis Bergen.


Congratulations on a successful season, can’t wait to see what diamonds can be found in 2017.





*Featured Image Credit: Jeff Archer-flickr UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0






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.