News and Notes: Blue Jays make more cuts to their roster, a Kevin Gausman update, and more

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
26 days ago
There are just six days remaining before the start of the season, so of course we have a bunch of news surrounding the Blue Jays.
In this edition of News and Notes, we’ll look at some recent roster cuts, some top prospect news, and updates on injured starting pitchers.
Let’s dig in!

Roster cuts

On Thursday evening, the Blue Jays Twitter account tweeted the most recent cuts. They are : Connor Cooke, Hayden Juenger, Brandon Eisert, Mason Fluharty, and Phil Clarke.
Cooke could be the first relief prospect called up because he is absolutely nasty. This Spring Training, he had an elevated ERA of 9.53 with a 4.62 FIP in 5.2 innings pitched. However, a relief pitcher’s ERA in such a small sample size should be taken with a grain of salt, as he had a 1.80 ERA prior to his final appearance.
Fluharty is another good example of this, as he finished Spring Training with a 5.68 ERA and a 6.10 FIP, but hadn’t allowed an earned run before his final outing where he gave up four earned runs in two thirds of an inning. Interestingly, the soft-tossing left-handed pitcher finished with a 38.5 K%. Definitely a guy to look out for this season.

Eduardo Escobar pulled from the lineup

Early on Friday morning, the Blue Jays released their lineup with Eduardo Escobar in the lineup.
Three hours later, they updated their lineup without Escobar in it, with our very own Thomas Hall reporting that Escobar was planning on triggering his opt-out. The Blue Jays Twitter account later confirmed this.
Veterans who sign minor league deals have three opt-out periods, with one being Friday at 2 PM ET, which gives the team 48 hours to either add the player to the 40-man roster or release them. The other two important dates are May 1 and June 1, while Joey Votto is the only other Blue Jay who can opt-out at this point in time.
Escobar, now 35, has had a rough Spring Training batting .122/.143/.268 with a homer in 42 plate appearances. He had a career-high 35 home runs in 2019 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, while his best season in terms of wRC+ came in 2018 with a 117 wRC+.
Last season with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels, Escobar slashed .225/.269/.344 with six homers in 309 plate appearances for a 66 wRC+.

Ricky Tiedemann could make the Opening Day roster

Toronto Sun’s Rob Longely whipped everyone up into a frenzy Friday morning when he reported that Blue Jays’ top prospect Ricky Tiedemann was “in the mix” to break the Opening Day roster.
This Spring Training, Tiedemann has a 5.40 ERA and a 6.58 FIP in 6.2 innings pitched, along with a 27.6 K% and a 10.3 BB%. Last season between Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, Tiedemann had a 3.83 ERA and a 1.98 FIP.
While his BB% of 12.2% was on the high side, his K% of 43.7% led the organization for any pitcher with more than 30 innings pitched, as did his K-BB% of 31.5%. This is similar to his breakout year in 2022, where he led the organization with a 38.9 K% and 29.2 K-BB% with a minimum of 40 innings pitched.
Is Tiedemann ready to face big league hitters regularly? Honestly, probably not, but the prospect of seeing Tiedemann pitch in the big leagues to start the 2024 season is certainly an exciting one.

Kevin Gausman update

According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays are still figuring out whether or not it will be a minor league or major league game Gausman pitches in on Monday. Davidi also mentioned that what happens to begin the season will depend on this outing.
As you may know, Gausman has yet to throw a pitch in Grapefruit League action, which is rather concerning for the Jays’ ace. Last season, Gausman finished with a 3.16 ERA and a 2.97 FIP in 185 innings pitched, along with a 31.1 K% and a 7.2 BB%. He finished third in American League Cy Young voting.
Even if he’s out to start the season, the Jays will have a lot of options to fill in, such as Ricky Tiedemann, Yariel Rodríguez, Mitch White, and even Paolo Espino, who has had a great Spring Training.

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


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