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Predicting when Blue Jays top prospect Ricky Tiedemann will debut in the big leagues

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Photo credit:© Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
1 month ago
Since pitchers and catchers reported to Dunedin a week ago, there has been quite a buzz stirring around Blue Jays’ top prospect Ricky Tiedemann.
The 6-foot-4 left-hander entered camp in good shape, adding approximately 19 pounds of muscle since last spring and was looking strong on the mound early, with his Robbie Ray-like delivery to home on display in front of throngs of media members. The former third-round pick out of Golden West
was limited to just 44 innings during last season due to a biceps injury but was worth the hype when healthy. Spending most of the campaign in double-A, he authored a 5.06 ERA while striking out batters at a 16.8 K/9 rate through 32 innings with the Fisher Cats.
The limited action during the regular campaign saw the top prospect get some reps in the Arizona Fall League to round out the year, where Tiedemann proceeded to make four starts and allowed just 12 hits and five earned runs while striking out 23 batters, taking home the Pitcher of the Year honour in the AFL.

Predicting Ricky Tiedmann’s debut with the Blue Jays in 2024

Tiedemann is reportedly slated to take the mound this Saturday, the Blue Jays’ first spring training game of the year against the Philadelphia Phillies. An impressive showing this spring could see Tiedemann’s stock rise even further, which could force the Blue Jays hand to have him in the big leagues sooner rather than later this upcoming campaign.
For an arm limited to just 122 2/3 innings since 2022, it is probably a safe bet to assume Tiedemann has a limited shot for a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially since he has just one start at triple-A under his belt.
The southpaw told Jon Morosi that he wasn’t informed of an innings limit for the upcoming campaign but was aware that they would likely monitor his workload this year, which makes sense after he missed so much time in 2023. Factor in a pretty set Blue Jays rotation for the 2024 campaign, barring another Alek Manoah meltdown similar to last season, and the likelihood that Tiedemann starts the year in triple-A is high, if not definite.
That’s arguably not a bad thing for Tiedemann, as even Alek Manoah spent some time in Buffalo back in 2021 after a solid spring training showcase, as the Jays wanted to see what the right-hander would do in more game situations after a lengthy layoff because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down Minor League baseball. The same will likely be said for Tiedemann, who should start the year just south of Toronto.
The disadvantage for the top prospect this season is the Jays’ current rotation status, as an injury or a setback performance-wise to one of the regulars is likely his gateway to the bigs at least to start the campaign, barring a trade. Manoah is slated for the fifth rotation spot and the likes of Bowden Francis, Mitch White, and Yariel Rodriguez are in the mix this spring for reps as a starter. Free agency-wise, Yusei Kikuchi is eligible after this season and Chris Bassitt’s contract is up following the 2025 campaign, meaning there is still limited space for what should be a crowded rotation setting given the contending players even when looking towards the next two seasons.
In terms of a prediction, it is tough to say when Blue Jays fans will see Tiedemann donning one of the Jays jerseys this year.
For starters, he needs to continue getting innings under his belt and avoid injury, as another setback similar to last season will make it tough for the club to promote their top arm without some more experience to avoid performance setbacks both mentally and physically. A hot start with the Bisons will also go a long way, as similar to Manoah a few years ago, it will be difficult for the front office to keep an arm of his calibre down in triple-A if he is dominating opposing hitters and can help the big league club.

Knocking on the door in Buffalo

Overall, I would think a call-up around June/July makes the most sense in terms of working with an innings limit (as the Jays are likely implementing) as well as helping the club during the ‘dog days of summer’, where a fresh arm around the Midsummer Classic could be a solid boost for a pitching staff that was so solid for the Blue Jays last year. A September promotion could also be in the cards but if the Blue Jays organization does plan to limit his workload, he may not have much to work with towards the end of the campaign unless they give him a break in the middle of the year.
There are a few different ways the club can utilize Tiedemann this year but a rush to the big leagues is likely not in the cards, as much as having the left-hander with Toronto could be a boost for the pitching staff. For now, a prediction of starting the year in Buffalo and seeing how the 21-year-old handles a regular spot in the Bisons rotation is the easy bet, although the door is open for a quick promotion if he handles the challenge well out of the gate and the Jays need an arm of his nature for an extended period.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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