Injuries and underperformance have been slowly combining to force the Blue Jays to dip into their farm system to begin a gradual overhaul of the team. That trend will continue on Tuesday when LHP Borucki, who has a record of 6-5, 3.27 with AAA Buffalo, makes his MLB debut against the World Series Champs Houston.
Borucki was considered to be the second-best HS Pitching prospect in Illinois in 2012, until a mid-March UCL tear caused his stock to drop all the way to the 15th round. The elbow didn’t hold up in pro ball, and he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2013 season.
Injuries robbed him of much of his 2015 season, as well. When Borcuki came back with High A Dunedin in 2016, he was hit hard an often for Florida State League hitters, prompting a demotion to Low A, where he worked on adding some deception to his delivery, and refined his command.
The trials and tribulations Borucki experienced in his first 4 years of pro ball might have tempted some to call it a career, but he stuck with it. and two years after being sent to the lowest rung on the full season ladder, he’s on the cusp of making his MLB debut.
Usually sitting 91-93 and touching 96, Borucki can command his FB to either side of the plate. His height allows him to get a good downward plane on it, and he tends to live in the bottom half of the strike zone with it.
A Plus Change
The owner of the best change-up in the organization this side of Marco Estrada, Borucki’s change offers eye-level changing depth and movement. When he’s ahead in the count, his change becomes a legitimate weapon, as he releases it from the same arm slot and speed as his fastball.
An Improved Slider
Once described as fringy, Borucki has improved his slider to the point where it has become a decent, keep-hitters-honest pitch. A late-breaking pitch with good tilt, the development of this third pitch has helped Borucki progress from decent minor league starter to MLB call up.
The lousy April weather wreaked havoc with Buffalo’s rotation, and Borucki went ten days before his first and second starts. Since then, he’s pitched into the sixth inning in 11 straight starts.
Tall and lean at 6’4″/175, Borucki consistently repeats his clean delivery, and lands in a good position to field any balls hit back to him. He can get off the mound quickly to grab choppers or slow rollers.
It’s been a long time coming for Borucki – 7 years as a minor leaguer (although he’s only 24), and countless hours of rehab and refining his pitches. This may only prove to be an emergency start, and he may be back in Buffalo after it, but Borucki will become a mid-rotation anchor before long.