With the return of Lourdes Gurriel Jr, and the addition of Cavan Biggio to the 40 man, quickly followed by his promotion to Toronto, who are the next likely Blue Jays promotion candidates?
1. Sean Reid-Foley
Forget the unsightly 6.60 ERA. SRF has pitched at least six innings in each of his last four starts, and threw a gem in his last outing, an 8 inning effort in which he only allowed a pair of walks.
Reid-Foley has made some mechanical adjustments, and if his last start is any indication, he has decided to cut back on the velo a bit in order to gain some command.
A trip across the border from Buffalo seems to be only another Edwin Jackson disastrous outing or two away.
2. Reese McGuire
God bless Luke Maile, who agreed to get out from behind the plate in order to save the bullpen an inning in yesterday’s shellacking by the Padres.
This guy has done just about everything the team could ask of him, and perhaps they should reward him with a trade to a team that won’t be looking at a high draft pick next year.
McGuire is an elite defender, and he’s more than ready. In fact, he would be a good passenger in the vehicle that drives SRF up the QEW. His bat will never allow him to be a first division player, but McGuire will be a more than competent back up to Danny Jansen. But with Jansen still on the Interstate with a .178 average, and SRF’s best work of late having come with veteran Pat Cantwell behind the plate, McGuire’s time may still have to wait a bit.
3. Justin Shafer
Shafer’s return to Toronto may only be a matter of time. Buffalo’s closer has had 8 straight scoreless outings, and has allowed only one earned run in his last ten.
4. Dusty Isaacs
Isaacs has been effective in a set up role for Buffalo, fanning 32 in 23 innings. After a strong start, he has given up some contact in his last few outings.
5. Kirby Snead
If Tim Mayza goes down with an injury, or if Thomas Pannone offers many repeats of yesterday’s outing, the Blue Jays could do worse than promote the owner of the best slider in the system to the 40-man.
6. Patrick Murphy
After a slow start pitching through the cool northeastern spring for the first time, Murphy has gotten on track.
His injury history has meant some special handling throughout his minor league career, with the upper 80s seeming to be his pitch limit at the moment, suggesting that the Blue Jays are still keeping the wraps on him. He’s struck out better than a hitter per inning, carried a no-hitter into the 7th three starts ago, then fanned 10 the next start.
He may not be the first option when a call goes out for a starter, then, but it’s reasonable assume he’s in Toronto in the next calendar year.
7. Bo Bichette
Recently cleared to resume light baseball activities, Bichette’s timetable has been set back, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
After a slow start, Bichette’s bat was coming around – he was hitting .297 over his last ten before breaking his hand.
Bichette tends to get into trouble when he gets over-aggressive at the plate, expanding his strike zone and chasing pitches. In 2018, then New Hampshire Manager John Schneider would deliberately throw pitches off the plate in BP to bring back some strike zone discipline for Bichette.
His work at SS gives every indication that he can handle the position at the MLB level. He has good reactions to the ball, and good footwork, transfer, and arm strength. With Freddy Galvis doing an adequate job for the Blue Jays on both sides of the ball, there is no need to rush Bichette’s return for now, and his recovery and play will ultimately dictate his timeline.