Bowden Francis pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts in his first rehab appearance

Photo credit:Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
The Blue Jays bullpen is on the verge of getting better.
On Tuesday evening, Bowden Francis made his first rehab appearance for the Buffalo Bisons, finishing with a line of 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K while throwing 28 pitches.
Diving deeper into the stats, the fastball averaged 92.8 mph but maxed out a tick under 95 mph. It averaged two whiffs on seven total swings for a 29 whiff%.The curveball was thrown six times and generated a whiff on two total swings for a 50% whiff%. As for the splitter, it averaged 84.1 mph and had a single whiff on four total swings.
Towards the end of April, Francis was put on the 15-day Injured List due to right forearm extensor tendinitis, which doesn’t sound fun at all. It has been a rough season for Francis, who has an 8.59 ERA and a 6 FIP in 14.2 innings pitched, with his first two career starts not going so great. However, before he hit the Injured List, he pitched four scoreless innings over his last two outings and has a 2.84 ERA and a 2.98 FIP in 6.1 innings out of the bullpen.
The Blue Jays desperately need some length out of their pen, as they traded Mitch White and Wes Parsons via trade, while Yariel Rodríguez is down with an injury. Whenever Francis returns – it’s yet to be seen if he has another rehab outing – he’ll likely be placed in the bullpen. That begs the question, what corresponding move could the Jays make?
There are two obvious answers, either Nate Pearson or Zach Pop will be optioned to Buffalo. Pearson had a great start to his season before his first option, but is rocking a 9 ERA and a 4.64 FIP in six innings since being recalled. In the month of May, Pearson has a 13.50 ERA and a 5.89 FIP in four innings pitched.
Pop has only pitched in 5.2 innings and has a 3.18 ERA and a 4.90 FIP in 5.2 innings pitched with a low 14.3 K% and an even lower 4.8 BB%. However, he’s likely the odd man out as when Pearson is on, the velocity he provides is the best in the bullpen.
Either way, the Blue Jays bullpen is about to gain some length and improve quite a bit, especially whenever Chad Green returns.

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

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