Travis Bergen returned to the Jays, optioned to Buffalo

One of the two pitchers picked off of  the Blue Jays from the Rule 5 Draft, Travis Bergen — the other being Jordan Romano — has been returned after being designated for assignment earlier this week.

The 25-year-old lefty pitched a total of 19 and 2/3 innings for the Giants this year, for a 5.49 ERA with nine walks and 18 strikeouts. Not the most dominant performance, but for a Rule 5 pick, it was decent but ended up not being worth the roster spot for the whole year.

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Due to an injury suffered mid-season, Bergen was able to have a rehab assignment to their Triple-A affiliate. There he posted a 3.78 ERA through 15 games and 16 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Now heading to Triple-A Buffalo, the 2015 seventh-round pick will strengthen an already built pitching staff for the Bisons. Top prospect Nate Pearson dominated in his first Triple-A appearance, while Anthony Kay is absolutely dealing as of late and changing the narrative for the return of Marcus Stroman from the Mets.

Considering that Bergen was with Double-A New Hampshire in 2018, and had a 0.50 ERA through 35 and 2/3 innings while striking-out more than four times his number of walks, he’s ready for the technical promotion up in the Blue Jays system.

What was first seen as a massive loss in the December draft, Bergen’s mediocre performance for the Giants this season has demonstrated that he might just not ever be a major-league calibre reliever in the end. But because of his handedness and this team’s desperation when it comes to pitching, he might be seeing some big-league time next season in Toronto.

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The Blue Jays now have both of their pitchers back that were taken in the Rule 5 Draft. With Bergen returning and Jordan Romano coming back from the Rangers earlier this year, this team is now essentially unaffected by that draft — other than teenager Elvis Luciano most likely becoming a permanent member of the Blue Jays organization.

With an approaching 40-man roster crunch this offseason — with pitchers like Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, T.J. Zeuch, and Kirby Snead, as well as infielder Santiago Espinal, eligible for the 2019 Rule 5 Draft — Bergen might be on the outside looking in yet again this December.