With Edwin Jackson allowing the Yankees to have an exit velo party last night, Blue Jays broadcaster Scott Mitchell broke the news that the team may look past Buffalo for his replacement:
It sounds like #BlueJays are seriously considering at least a spot start for one of the arms in Double-A. I would guess Patrick Murphy would be the first choice, then Hector Perez. Yennsy Diaz a distant third, but all are on 40-Man roster.
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) June 7, 2019
If the Blue Jays promote anyone (with the possible exception of Buffalo’s Sean Reid-Foley) other than Murphy, it would be a huge mistake.
Murphy, of course, has been dominant in the Eastern League so far this year, and it’s a little baffling why he isn’t already at AAA. In his last start, he threw an incredible 55 of his 70 pitches for strikes, and seemed to be toying with an admittedly weak Altoona lineup. Scroll through the Eastern League leaders at Fangraphs, and you’ll find Murphy in the top 10 in most categories.
Diaz can dazzle with his easy mid to upper 90s heat, but he’s also prone to mental lapses, and his inability to hold runners on at this point would be quickly exploited in the bigs. The Blue Jays had no choice but to put him on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft last year, but he still needs development time.
Perez created quite an impression after coming over from the Astros last year and helping to lead New Hampshire to an EL title, but he’s been inconsistent this season. The cold weather in the Northeast hasn’t helped, but his 1.76 WHIP is the highest among qualifiers in the league, and his 12.2% BB rate hasn’t helped.
After a very rough start, Reid-Foley has turned things around of late, thanks to some adjustments with his delivery and his approach to pitching in general. His issue continues to be the big inning, where he loses the strike zone, while the walks and pitches pile up. He does have MLB experience, albeit brief.
Based on merit, the best candidate would be Murphy. With an injury history as long as the 6’4″ righthander’s arm, they’ve handled him very carefully the past three seasons. At this point, the Blue Jays can’t really afford to run Jackson out there every fifth day for much longer. He’s not fooling hitters at all, and while his acquisition was meant to buy time for the young arms in the system, there comes a point when you have to cut ties and start to move forward.
With Murphy scheduled to start for New Hampshire tonight, his promotion would have to wait four to five days. For comparison purposes, Perez pitched last night, Diaz the night. before.