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News and Notes: Top Blue Jays prospect Ricky Tiedemann threw a live bullpen on Friday, Jordan Romano will return to throwing in the coming days, and more!

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Photo credit:Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Toronto Blue Jays pitching is in quite a difficult spot at the moment.
Top Blue Jays prospect Ricky Tiedemann could be returning to game action soon. Sadly, the team’s closer, Jordan Romano, could still be weeks away, and what exactly is going on with the fifth starter spot?
Let’s look at all that in the latest News and Notes!

Ricky Tiedemann to rehab in Florida

According to numerous beat writers for the Blue Jays, Ricky Tiedemann is on the path back to returning to games, as the Blue Jays’ top prospect pitched two innings of live bullpen on Friday in Dunedin. According to Arden Zwelling, he’ll stay in Florida for a rehab assignment.
 
It’s been a rough season for the Blue Jays’ top prospect. In eight innings pitched with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he has a 5.63 ERA and a 10.43 FIP. Moreover his K% has dropped from 40.9% the last two seasons to 23.8%, while his BB% increased to 21.4%.
On top of that, he’s spent significant time on the Injured List the past two seasons, missing parts of the 2023 season with a left bicep injury, and 2024 with an ulnar nerve injury.

Jordan Romano received anti-inflammatory injection in elbow

The Blue Jays bullpen has been one of the worst, but it’s also because the bullpen just hasn’t stayed healthy.
One such player who has been injured is Jordan Romano, who landed on the 15-day Injured List to start the month of June due to inflammation in the right elbow, not great. Recently, he received shots for the elbow and will throw again in the next few days.
 
When healthy, it’s been a rough go of things for the Canadian reliever, as he has a 6.59 ERA and a 6.14 FIP in 13.2 innings pitched, picking up eight saves in nine opportunities. This is his second stint of the season, as he started the year on the Injured List as well.

Sunday’s starter not yet determined

With Alek Manoah missing the rest of the season for his eventual UCL surgery, the fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs. That’s not a great sign, considering there are quite a few injured starters.
According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi prior to Saturday’s game, the team was (and likely still is) in a “planning phase” regarding what the plan will be for Sunday. He noted that the Blue Jays wanted to avoid using Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis on Saturday, though.
And, well, Kevin Gausman didn’t just make them avoid using Richards or Francis, but the entire bullpen as he pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 10 batters and allowing five hits and a walk.
The bullpen should be well rested for what will be a bullpen game. However, this isn’t a sustainable method, especially if the Blue Jays wish to sniff the playoffs this season. They’ll either need a player to step up (Francis or Yariel Rodríguez) or trade for a starter before the deadline.

Luis Robert Jr. could be traded

Could the Jays add a right-handed batting outfielder in Luis Robert Jr. who is reportedly available? Probably not, as the team is closer to selling than making the biggest splash since Ross Atkins took over in 2016.
However, adding Luis Robert Jr. instantly improves this team significantly, as the 26-year-old centre fielder is slashing .205/.222/.523 with four homers in 45 plate appearances, or 11 games. He had a right hip flexor strain in early April and missed nearly two months, hence the low total of plate appearances.
Last season though, he had a career-year slashing .264/.315/.542 with 38 homers in 595 plate appearances for a 128 wRC+ and a 4.9 fWAR, both totals being his career best. In the same season, he had 6 Defensive Runs Saved and 13 Outs Above Average as well.
Do the Blue Jays have the assets to pull off a trade for one of the best centre fielders in the game? Probably not, considering he’s also on a team-friendly deal until the end of the 2027 season.
Still, it is noteworthy as he’d likely get this offence going.

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

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