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Internal options for the Blue Jays 40-man roster when Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chad Green are place on the 60-day Injured List

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Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
1 year ago
In the upcoming weeks, the Jays may be adding two players to their 40-man roster.
Although the 40-man is currently full, both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chad Green will need to be placed on the 60-day Injured List, freeing up two spots. The question is, which players will the Jays add to the 40-man roster? Let’s look at a few internal options:

Bowden Francis:

Before the cancelled Rule 5 draft early in 2022, Bowden Francis, among others, was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster. In fact, he actually pitched two thirds of an inning with the Jays early in the 2022 season, posting a 0 ERA and 0.11 FIP with a 33.3 K%.
Looking at a larger sample size which is his time with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he had a 6.59 ERA and 6.02 FIP in 98.1 innings pitched, with a 24.3 K% and a 9.5 BB%. That doesn’t really tell the entire story though, as from July 6th onwards, he had a 4.47 ERA and a 3.42 FIP in 46.1 innings pitched. His K% also increased to 29.8%, while his BB% dropped to 8.3%.
Francis continued to pitch well in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where he had a 1.51 ERA in 35.2 innings pitched. His K% was a fantastic 34.6%, while his BB% dropped to 6.6%.
Francis features a fastball that sits between 93-95 mph, but has touched 96 mph (in a starter’s workload). The 26-year-old also features a sharp slider, and a nasty 12-6 curveball. His changeup also has some arm side fade and is a good fourth pitch.

Adrián Hernández:

Prior to a shoulder injury that sidelined the right-handed pitcher for a month and a bit, the 23-year-old was pitching fantastic for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons (and briefly the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats). Hernández had a 1.88 ERA and a 3.66 FIP (along with a 36.6 K% and a 10.8 BB%) in 24 innings pitched as a reliever.
Upon returning, Hernández struggled quite a bit, posting a 9.95 ERA and 6.19 FIP in 12.2 innings pitched. Moreover, his K% dropped to 26.2%, while his BB% increased to 14.8%. On the season, Hernández had a 4.96 ERA and a 4.76 FIP in 32.2 innings pitched with Buffalo.
Despite the struggles, Hernández had a 38.7 whiff%, which is one of the highest in the organization. He kept up the good play in the Mexican Winter League, where he had a 3.38 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched. There he had a 34.8 K% and an 11.2 BB%. As for his whiff% in Mexico, it was still a pretty darn good 36%.
It was speculated that Hernández may have earned a call up if not for injury last season, and a call up could be in his cards if he continues to pitch well in 2023, especially in spring training.

Davis Schneider:

Next to Addison Barger, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Davis Schneider was the position player that raised his stock the most in 2022.
He started the season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians, when he slashed .229/.354/.459 in 189 plate appearances. He had eight homers, and a 15.3 BB% and 26.5 K% for a 127 wRC+.
The 24-year-old continued to stay hot in Double-A New Hampshire, when he slashed .283/.368/.476 with six homers in 190 plate appearances. He also had a 11.6 BB% and a 24.2 K% for a 131 wRC+
The second baseman/left fielder earned a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo, where he slashed .233/.387/.400 with two homers in 75 plate appearances. He had an 18.7 BB% and a 26.7 K% for a 118 wRC+.
On top of solid power, a great eye, and the ability to hit for average, Schneider was also 17/19 in stolen bases in 2022. It’s an interesting blend and his versatility could certainly help the Jays decision to place him on the 40-man roster.

John Aiello:

The 26-year-old switch-hitter put together a sneakily great season, but you may have never heard of him.
He spent the bulk of the season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats as a 25-year-old, and slashed .305/.403/.476 with nine homers in 324 plate appearances. He also had a 12 BB% and a 22.2 K% for a 144 wRC+.
Aiello didn’t hit well after his promotion to Triple-A Buffalo, slashing just .235/.357/.265 with no homers and a 9.5 BB% and 23.8 K%. This landed him an 80 wRC+. With a minimum of 100 plate appearances, Aiello’s combined 137 wRC+ ranked fourth in the Blue Jays farm system.
The 26-year-old plays first base and third base, and if he has a good spring training, it’s possible he could earn a spot on the 40-man roster.

So who’ll get the two spots:

It seems likely to me that the Jays will likely place two pitchers on the 40-man roster to replace Ryu and Green. Both Francis and Hernández have a solid shot to be added. Furthermore, both Junior and Julian Fernández could earn a spot on the 40-man roster if they pitch well.
Another interesting position player who may get a nod is outfielder/catcher Zach Britton, who had a breakout season and a fantastic Arizona Fall League.
This doesn’t even mention external options, such as potentially Jurickson Profar or Zack Britton (the left-handed pitcher).
It’ll be interesting to see what the Jays do as we inch closer to the start of the season.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.

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