Cat Latos, we hardly knew ye!
Mat Latos, on the other hand, uh… yeah… I think we probably saw enough.
That appears to have been the view of the Jays’ front office, as it was quietly announced today (in the game notes given to reporters at Rogers Centre, apparently) that the organization has parted ways with the once-coveted right-hander. Though no one seems to have noticed anything about it until Bisons play-by-play man Ben Wagner tweeted this:
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) May 30, 2017
There were thoughts — perhaps just mine — that Latos may have been re-added to the 40-man in order to pitch here on Tuesday night, but with J.A. Happ looking and feeling good last week in his lone rehab start, as well as in a side session over the weekend, the club managed to avoid that possibility. And at that point, what good was Latos to them, really?
Despite fears that he wouldn’t, Latos was a good soldier for the Jays, accepting two demotions and waiting in Buffalo for his turn. He just wasn’t a very good pitcher.
Latos allowed 11 runs, five home runs, eight walks, and 19 hits in just 15 innings for the Blue Jays. That’s bad!
And while the Jays obviously can’t believe, with Happ and Liriano nearing full health, Biagini holding his own in the rotation, and Aaron Sanchez due back… eventually, that they’re not going to need the services of their depth pitchers for the rest of the year, Latos simply didn’t do enough at either level to make anyone feel like he’s a cut above any of the other replacement level scrubs that they might otherwise turn to. There’s really wasn’t much reason to keep him. And as a guy who had at least one opt-out in his contract, it may simply be that they wanted to give him a chance to catch on somewhere else — or that they were obligated to, either officially, or by some kind of a handshake deal when he accepted his last assignment to Buffalo.
Finding rotation depth is hard! It was a reasonable enough experiment to see whether Latos would be able to contribute anything to the Jays here in 2017, but it worked out about as well as anybody expected. Though, given that he actually managed to get a handful of big league starts — and one in St. Louis that actually was pretty good (results-wise, at least, as he somehow managed to pitch six scoreless innings in the game that the Cardinals won on that dumb walk-off grand slam) — maybe he was even better than most expected.
Whatever he was, and whatever the Mat Latos Era was, I guess it’s over.