On Friday morning the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Aaron Sanchez was being moved to the 60-day disabled list and that the club was recalling Taylor Cole, forcing writers and bloggers covering the team to scramble to remember just who the hell Cole is, as they furiously write small and useless pieces about his imminent arrival.
Roster Move: Selected the contract RHP Taylor Cole, RHP Aaron Sanchez transferred to the 60-day DL to make room on 40-man roster.
— Blue Jays PR (@BlueJaysPR) September 29, 2017
Said one blogger, who asked to remain anonymous, “What is this bullshit? Why now?” He added, “Would anyone even notice if I didn’t write about Taylor Cole? Could this possibly be more irrelevant? I mean, come the fuck on.”
Cole will serve as the eighteenth member of the Jays’ pitching staff over their final three games of the season, rendering such pieces all the more pointless. And the difficulty in assessing his track record — the 28-year old “prospect” pitched just 13.2 pitched across four levels in 2017, reaching Triple-A for the first time (thanks to a pro career marred by recent injuries and lost development time due to a religious mission just prior to his being drafted in 2011) — only adds to the pointlessness and cruelty of this move.
The right-hander — who sadly isn’t the Taylor Cole that appeared in Papa Roach’s video for “Scars,” or the film 12 Rounds, produced by WWE films and starring John Cena — was added to the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster earlier in the season, as a replacement for Mike Bolsinger, which led to at least a little bit of background on him filtering out onto the internet. Bluebird Banter wrote about him, for example, noting at the time that he’d switched from starting to relieving this season, and that in the new relief role his fastball had “been in the 92-94 range, so with effective offspeed pitches (he’s got a good changeup), he has potential as a MLB reliever.” But that’s hardly enough to build an entire blog post around.
The one wrinkle to Cole’s story that might serve as a point interesting enough to write about is how the Blue Jays managed to keep him in their organization at all. Clearly they have some kind of affinity for him, sticking with him as he battled injuries that limited him to less than 80 innings in 2016 and kept him out of game action until June of this year. So why was he given his walking papers by the club earlier in the season, then almost immediately re-signed? Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors speculates that “Cole’s release came at the tail-end of a 10-day stint on the DL for a broken fifth toe in his right foot, and the release may have simply been a means of preventing another team from claiming him on waivers.”
Now that’s a detail! And here — perhaps with his foot fully healed and his arm built back up — is his big league reward.
So perhaps this is not a lost cause entirely for the poor ink-stained wretches forced by the team they cover to come up with a bunch of words about this transaction. Yet one wonders if any of them will be arsed to find it.
Either way, good luck to them. Good luck to Taylor, and congratulations. And congratulations Blue Jays for doling out some top grade busywork while ensuring that your pitching staff is able to make it through the weekend with more than a mere seventeen arms.