Blue Jays Minor League Notebook

Eric Pardiño

The much-hyped 2017 IFA made his return to competition with a pair of relief outings in the Complex League over the past week.

Pardiño left a start on August 7th, 2019, in which he clearly was struggling, and up until last Saturday, had pitched all of 3 innings since then.

Pardiño underwent Tommy John in February 2020, and while we’re conditioned guys to return to competition within a year, Pardiño is a reminder that there can be setbacks.

In his first Complex outing, he gave up just a solitary hit in one inning of work. 3 days later, he was stretched out a bit, throwing 2 innings, giving up a run on 3 hits. A positive sign was his four Ks.

The plan for now, according to the Blue Jays, is to continue to have him pitch in relief. His volume will gradually be increased, while making sure he recovers between outings.

So, while we’ll continue to keep an eye on his numbers, we won’t really be expecting a whole lot for the next month or so. Still, it’s great to see him on the comeback trail.

Pearson vs Tiedemann

A twitter follower asked if Ricky Tiedemann is the best pitching prospect the Blue Jays have developed since Nate Pearson, and the answer to that is pretty obvious.

But is also points out the different development path Tiedemann has taken since MLB made significant changes to the structure of the minors, as well as pushing the draft back a month.

When Pearson was drafted in 2017, he was coming off a JuCo season in which he’d pitched 80 innings. The Blue Jays didn’t have him face live competition until a month after the June draft, and his outings were limited – his longest start was 4 innings in late August.

Tiedemann, by contrast, didn’t pitch at all after being drafted last year. Unlike Pearson, there was no short season club waiting for him, so he spent his time at the minor league complex refining his delivery, and adding velo. The result has been probably beyond even the organization’s wildest dreams: Tiedemann has struck out 14/9 at two levels, and has moved into the upper echelon of Blue Jays prospects.

Comparisons in the development between the two are not exact, of course. Pearson had an elbow history that the Blue Jays were very cautious about. But one can’t help but wonder where Big Nate might be now if he had been able to follow a model similar to Tiedemann’s.

2nd half surge for Vancouver?

The C’s have clunked along as the first half comes to the close. Vancouver sits 4th in the 6-team Northwest League, four games under .500.

With the additions of Tiedemann and Yosver Zulueta to a rotation that already included Sem Robberse and Chad Dallas, the C’s have a strong starting rotation. Add in likely second half promotions Nick Frasso and Dahian Santos, and Vancouver has an even stronger staff. On top of that, Dasan Brown and Rainer Nunez should soon join their former Dunedin teammate Damiano Palmegiani, and the C’s lineup should be bolstered. Gabriel Martinez, unfortunately, suffered a hairline wrist fracture, and won’t be making the trip northwest just yet.

Concern About Robberse?

It’s probably more of a reflection of a guy going through the doldrums of his first real long season, and teams in the small NWL getting a third look at him, but Sem Robberse’s last two starts have not been things of beauty. Robberse has given up 17 hits and 8 earned runs in 9.1 IP. Robberse has been a bit uncharacteristically wild this month, too, giving up 9 walks in 15 innings.

Samad Taylor

Again, we have to ask what more Taylor can do to prove his MLB ready. The International League stolen base leader has hit three home runs this week. In an incredible display of timing, Taylor launched his latest last night just as Bisons’ play-by-play broadcaster Pat Malacaro was lauding his improved two strike approach:

Yes, promoting him would mean a roster move, and recent call up Otto Lopez provides more versatility, but Taylor’s improvement over last season (which was a huge jump in and of itself) stands out. He’s seeing more pitches, chasing less, and pounding mistakes.

Casey Lawrence

Here’s another guy who has done everything the Bisons have asked of him. Lawrence leads the IL in Wins, ERA, and WHIP (he’s walked all of 11 batters in 68 innings.

Many will point to Lawrence’s age (34) and suggest his MLB window is rapidly closing, and they’re probably right. But Lawrence has added velo since turning 30, and I’ll just point out right here and now that Phil Marchildon, the pride of Penetanguishene, turned in a career season at the same age, winning 19 games for the 1947 Athletics.

If the Blue Jays burn through their bullpen again after another starter falters, expect to see Casey back up.

2 thoughts on “Blue Jays Minor League Notebook

  1. The problem with Pardinho is his 7 year minor league contract is up after 2023. This year seems like another lost year, next year likely in Vancouver in A+ then he’s a free agent unless he gets put on the Major League roster.


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