The Blue Jays announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed former Indians left-hander T.J. House to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training.
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Back in 2014, House looked to have emerged as a viable back-of-the-rotation option in Cleveland after tossing 102 innings of 3.35 ERA ball and averaging 7.1 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 to go along with a hefty 60.9 percent ground-ball rate as a 25-year-old rookie. However, House spent a pair of stints on the disabled list with shoulder problems in 2015, the latter of which sidelined him for the final four months of the season. In the two years since that promising debut, he’s pitched just 15 2/3 innings in the Majors and allowed 20 runs on 27 hits and 12 walks with nine strikeouts. Now 27 years of age, House did manage a 3.98 ERA in 72 1/3 innings with Triple-A Columbus last season, but his 6.2 K/9 rate and 5.4 BB/9 rate were hardly encouraging.
For the Blue Jays, left-handed depth is an area of clear need on their pitching staff, though. Toronto lost Brett Cecil to a four-year deal with the Cardinals earlier this offseason and has yet to bring in a proven southpaw to take his place. The Jays’ top left-handed options in the ’pen are Aaron Loup, Chad Girodo, Matt Dermody and Ryan Borucki, plus non-roster invitee Brett Oberholtzer.