Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Brendon Little is one of only three left-handed relievers on the roster

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
Remember when the Blue Jays traded for Brendon Little?
This is the 40-man Roster Review, in which we’re going to take a look back at each player on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, and how they performed in 2023, as well as their outlook for 2024.
Ironically, it’s the only trade that the Blue Jays have made so far this off-season, and really the only somewhat notable transaction they’ve made, say for a few minor league deals.
The 27-year-old left-handed reliever has only pitched two thirds of an inning in the big leagues, where he gave up three earned runs for a 40.50 ERA and a 31.61 FIP, so not great. His numbers in  Triple-A were much better, obviously, as he posted a 4.05 ERA and a 4.40 FIP in 73.1 innings pitched, along with a 23.1 K% and a 12 BB%. Little is also an extreme ground ball pitcher, owning a 64 GB% in Triple-A last season.
Per Prospects Live’s minor league data, his primary fastball is a sinker that averaged 94.4 mph and had an 18.9 whiff %. The mid-80s slider was the better pitch, as he generated a 45.3% whiff percentage, meaning that the slider is used for the strikeouts.
Fangraphs’ Steamer is quite kind to Little, as it predicts he’ll throw 33 innings and own a 3.91 ERA and a 4.34 FIP. The walk rate will still remain high (10.3 BB%) according to the prediction, but he’ll have a 19.3 K%.
Little has three option years remaining, meaning that the Blue Jays can treat him as an AAAA pitcher if Tim Mayza or Génesis Cabrera go down with an injury. In fact, the reason that Little may have stayed on the 40-man roster so long is because the Jays only have three left-handed pitching relievers on the roster to begin with.
It remains to be seen if Little will remain on the 40-man roster by the time spring training starts. With moves like his and Wes Parsons, it’s likely that the Blue Jays see something in their game that makes them stick around above a guy like catcher Tyler Heineman.

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