The Blue Jays announced today that they have claimed right-hander Donn Roach off waivers from the Reds. Michael Saunders has been transferred to the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man roster for Roach, who was designated for assignment by Cincinnati over the weekend. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet tweets that Roach will head to Triple-A for the time being, though he could obviously be a candidate for a call-up when rosters expand on Sept. 1.
Roach, 25, has appeared in the Majors with the Padres and Cubs over the past two seasons, totaling 33 2/3 innings of 5.35 ERA ball with 18 strikeouts against 16 walks. Those numbers aren’t particularly impressive, of course, but Roach’s extreme ground-ball nature — he has a 65 percent ground-ball rate in those 33 2/3 innings — probably appealed to the Blue Jays, who play in a very homer-friendly park. Roach has allowed just two homers in the Majors, and in 580 minor league frames, he’s averaged 0.4 homers per nine innings.
Love this move for the Jays!!
They could be losing 4 starters this offseason in Estrada, Price, Dickey, and Buehrle.
While I’m not saying Roach is the answer to the problem, he certainly is a good back-end option. So the rotation could look like this next season: A Non-Draft Pick Comp player like Kazmir, Marcus Stroman coming off of the disabled list, Drew Hutchinson, Aaron Sanchez from the bullpen and then Donn Roach
That is not a shabby rotation
That’s a pretty terrible rotation, actually. Those guys all at their best would be pretty decent, but come on — it could be the worst in the league if anything goes wrong. You could easily have an ERA of 5 from any or all of those guys not named Kazmir, and even he has risks. Stroman is highly regarded but his career so far is a very small sample size. We don’t know what he or Sanchez will really bring long-term yet. And counting on Donn Roach for anything is nuts — he has exactly 2 starts in the majors and his AAA numbers aren’t inspiring either.
Even though they play in a homer-friendly park, it’s not like groundball pitchers were necessarily great options in the past with how fast that playing surface was. The fact it is much slower this year and the team has a vastly improved infield defense on top of that certainly makes groundball pitchers a lot more appealing and viable.