Now, the relievers.
Typically, minor league relievers are just that. They don’t ever seem to advance very far in a Major League bullpen. If they do find success, it is even more rare to see them as dominant end of game guys. That is usually saved for the failed starters, who usually fail for injury reasons or lack of a 3rd pitch.
For the purpose of this exercise, I’m not going to discuss the Minor League veterans that fill up the higher levels of the system and will instead focus on the guys who have already failed as starters for one reason or another.
Starting with a couple guys who have had a taste of Toronto, first up are Chad Beck and Joel Carreno.
Beck was originally drafted by the Jays, but failed to sign. He was then taken by the Diamondbacks and shipped to Toronto for David Eckstein in 2009. Beck has started and relieved throughout his career, but has been solely a reliever since 2012. He shockingly pitched amazing in the rough environment of Las Vegas in 2012, putting up a 1.31 ERA in 48 IP. He was sent to AA to start this season after being claimed by the Pirates and then re-claimed by the Jays. An interesting move for Beck and one is which I strongly disagree with. Beck deserved the chance to be in Buffalo and be closer to a call-up.
Carreno is a guy I really like as a pitcher, especially a reliever. His stuff really plays up in shorter bursts and he can really strike guys out. He has 23 in 12.1 IP so far this season and sports a 0.73 ERA. He is a guy that I can see working out of the bullpen effectively for the Blue Jays is they want to give him an extended shot.
Actually, it turns out the guys pitching out of the bullpens of the lower level clubs are really not interesting to me. It’s nothing against them, but I haven’t invested any thought into these guys and have decided to stop there.
I will be moving onto the lefties in the system next, both starters and a selected few relievers.