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Blue Jays sign starting pitcher James Kaprielian to a minor-league deal

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Photo credit:© Robert Edwards - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
23 days ago
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed some additional starting pitching depth.
It was reported on Tuesday that the team signed James Kaprielian to a minor league deal, likely heading to Triple-A Buffalo.
The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher was selected in the first round, 16th-overall to be precise, by the New York Yankees in 2015. Back when he was a prospect, he was involved in the Sonny Gray trade that sent the Oakland pitcher to the Yankees in exchange for two additional prospects, Dustin Fowler and Jorge Mateo.
Kaprielian had a cup of coffee in the big leagues during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, pitching in three innings and two thirds. He became a mainstay on the Oakland Athletics roster during the 2021 season, posting a 4.07 ERA and a 4.33 FIP in 119.1 innings pitched, along with a 24.5 K% and an 8.2 BB%. That Oakland team was in the hunt for a postseason spot, unlike the 2024 Athletics.
The 2022 season saw Kaprielian pitch a career-high 134 innings, posting a 4.23 ERA and a 4.63 FIP, with his K% dropping to 17% while his BB% rose to 10.2%. He only pitched 61 innings in 2023, posting a 6.34 ERA and a 5.07 FIP with a 20.4 K% and an 11.1 BB%, before electing free agency in early November.
Kaprielian has a five-pitch mix according to his Baseball Savant data from 2023. His fastball sat 92 mph and he used it 41% of the time. His slider was his most used secondary (31% of the time), sitting 81 mph. He also features a two-seam fastball, a changeup, and a curveball.
The Blue Jays starting pitching depth has been tested this season with injuries to Bowden Francis, Yariel Rodríguez, Alek Manoah, and Ricky Tiedemann. Moreover, Mitch White and Wes Parsons were both traded, nearly obliterating Toronto’s depth options. Adding more depth in Triple-A is a wise decision. We’ll see if he ever has an opportunity with the Jays.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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