It feels like a brand new world.
Out from under the anchor that had become Troy Tulowitzki’s contract, the Blue Jays now are free to fully commit to a rebuild. You must be excited to inherit what pretty much is a blank canvas, with a productive farm system bubbling up.
And we learned yesterday that you bring an extensive minor league background, and an appreciation for analytics and new strategies:
I asked Charlie Montoyo if he’d like the #BlueJays to use an “opener” this season: “Absolutely.” He maintains it has not been discussed internally (yet) and “the right pitcher” (high 90’s velocity) is needed to work the first inning.
— Jamie Campbell (@SNETCampbell) December 11, 2018
With all due respect, if you’re looking to employ an opener, I suggest that you look no further than fireballing minor league reliever Jackson McClelland. For an inning or two, he could be a right-handed hitter’s nightmare:
#Rule5Draft Eligible Jackson McClelland – Nasty three-pitch sequence to Kiebert Ruiz here. FB can T100; Velo the product of upper body strength. Starts with back to hitter & hides ⚾️ behind body, ball difficult to pick up out of hand. Extends plate for chases w/+SL or FB up pic.twitter.com/vqXrfOyFv5
— Prospects Live (@ProspectsLive) December 11, 2018
McClelland could pitch the first inning (or maybe two), then be followed by Ryan Borucki, who would present a different look, and his change-up could really mess with hitters’ timing after McClelland’s high 90s/touching 100 heat. Hopefully, Borucki could last until the 7th or 8th, potentially pitching in high leverage situations before turning things over to the back of the bullpen.
Of course, a couple of things would happen for this to be a reality:
-McClelland would have to go unclaimed in this week’s Rule 5 draft. He’s on Buffalo’s reserve roster, meaning that he’s not eligible for the minor league phase.
-he would have to be built up in order to go multiple innings: he pitched more than one inning only 12 times in 39 appearances last year.
-McClelland would also need to improve his command; when he’s on, he’s almost unhittable, but that needs to happen more often than it doesn’t.
-he would have to be added to the 40-man roster, which now has an extra space.
Just a thought, Charlie. All the best this year. It might be a long one, but the future looks bright.