A litany of roster moves were announced early Saturday morning, including a trade!
The Jays traded 20-year-old minor league pitcher Jonatan Bernal to the Kansas City Royals for 26-year-old pitcher Foster Griffin.
Pitching mainly for the Omaha Royals, Griffin has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 2.86 FIP in 28 innings pitched with the AAA ball club. His K/9 sits at 10.29 while his BB/9 is a rather impressive 1.93.
There’s very little Baseball Savant data on the 26-year-old lefty, but I can tell you what he throws and what his average velocity is. He throws a cutter at 89.3 mph, a four seamer at about 94 mph, a changeup at 85.1 mph and a curveball at 79.9 mph.
His velocity actually ticked up from 2020, where he his cutter for 86.2 mph and four seamer for 91.8 mph.
This season is his first season pitching out of the pen. However, Griffin’s pitch mix is an unusual one for a reliever. It’s to be seen if the Jays attempt to stretch him out again, as they only have two starting pitchers in Buffalo (Casey Lawrenece, Thomas Hatch). Below is a thread where he struck out the side, dating back to June 9th.
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 16, 2022
As for what they gave up, Bernal pitched with the Dunedin Blue Jays and posted mixed results. The 20-year-old righty has a 5.47 ERA and a 4.35 FIP in 52.2 innings pitched. His K/9 sits at 8.03 while his BB/9 sits at 3.76.
Bernal has started seven of the 14 games he’s appeared in. He throws a sinker which reached 93.3 mph in his start, as well as a curveball and a changeup just from looking at Baseball Savant data.
Bernal is quite far away from impacting the high minors, and Griffin had potential as he was drafted with the 29th overall pick, so I personally like this move.
Griffin was optioned to Buffalo. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Sergio Romo was DFA’ed, bless his eccentric heart. Taking Romo’s place on the 26-man roster is our favourite pitcher, Jeremy Beasley.
The next time the Jays want to send Jeremy Beasley to Buffalo, he’ll need to be designated for assignment as he would’ve been optioned five times this season.
All in all, this is how you find swing and miss relievers.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. This is a solid trade that may help the Bisons starting pitching core, but it’s also likely that the Jays give Griffin a shot in the bullpen.