Top prospect Ricky Tiedemann “in the mix” to make Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster

Photo credit:Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
2 months ago
It might not be long before the Ricky Tiedemann era begins in Toronto.
Blue Jays manager John Schneider told Rob Longley of The Toronto Sun that the team’s top prospect is “in the mix” to be on the 26-man roster when the 2024 season begins next week.
“When you’re trying to put the best team out there for the time being or for the long term … I think (Thursday) night was a great performance by him and he turned the corner a little bit,” Schneider said. “So yeah, he’s in the mix.
The 22-year-old lefty made his third appearance of Spring Training on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went three innings and allowed one run on one hit and two walks while striking out five batters. The one hit that Tiedemann allowed was a solo bomb off of the bat of veteran slugger Bryan Reynolds.
The Blue Jays will open their season with a four-game series in Tampa against the Rays next Thursday and there are a handful of question marks surrounding their pitching staff. Whether or not Tiedemann is on the Opening Day roster will ultimately come down to the health of other arms.
Ace Kevin Gausman hasn’t made a start in Spring Training yet and won’t pitch during the Tampa series, though it’s unclear if he’ll wind up on the Injured List or not. Jose Berrios will take the ball on Opening Day in Gausman’s absence and Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi are expected to follow.
Alek Manoah won’t be ready for the start of the season and Bowden Francis has taken his spot in the starting rotation. Also dealing with injuries are late-inning relievers Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson, though, like with Gausman, it’s uncertain if either pitcher will need time on the Injured List.
If Gausman isn’t ready to go when the Blue Jays play their second series of the season in Houston against the Astros, Tiedemann could slide into the fifth starter spot. The team could use him in a piggyback situation where he pitches through the order once before a right-handed pitcher like Mitch White or Wes Parsons comes into the game afterward.
Again, there are a lot of moving parts here, but Tiedemann’s pitching in Spring Training has made him a viable option to help the Blue Jays get through some early-season injury troubles. Of course, it’s also worth noting that Tiedemann isn’t on Toronto’s 40-man roster, meaning somebody else would need to be removed in order for him to break camp with the club.


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