The Blue Jays announced this morning that right-hander Ryan Tepera has been placed on the 10-day DL due to right elbow inflammation, with the placement retroactive to June 28. Jake Petricka was promoted from Triple-A to take Tepera’s spot on the 25-man roster.
Tepera emerged as a workhorse out of the Toronto bullpen when he tossed 77 2/3 innings in 2017, and he continued to produce as one of the Jays’ primary setup options early in the season. In the wake of Roberto Osuna’s absence and subsequent suspension stemming from domestic assault charges, Tepera was also developing into John Gibbons’ preferred choice as closer. Tyler Clippard earned a save for the Jays last night and will likely get the bulk of ninth-inning chances while Tepera is out.
[Updated Blue Jays depth chart at Roster Resource]
Over 39 1/3 IP, Tepera has posted an impressive 2.97 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 3.58 K/BB rate and 47.5% grounder rate. ERA predictors (3.55 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 3.05 SIERA) are only slightly less-impressed with his performance, and it could be argued that Tepera has even been a hit unlucky, as his xwOBA (.270) is well below his actual xOBA of .316. The long ball has been a bit of an issue for Tepera, as he has allowed five homers this season, the most recent being a walkoff blast from Houston’s Alex Bregman in a blown save opportunity last Wednesday.
Tepera’s absence is yet another blow to a Blue Jays team that looks to be sellers at the deadline, with Thursday’s trade of Steve Pearce to the Red Sox perhaps being the first of several deals in the coming weeks. Toronto’s short-term veterans are the most obvious candidates to be dealt, though MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi recently reported that Tepera had been receiving some trade interest. If Tepera is able to return just after the All-Star break, he should have enough time to prove his health and continue his exhibit his value to any suitors, assuming that Toronto is interested in dealing him. Tepera isn’t eligible for arbitration until this coming winter, making him an important controllable piece within a Jays bullpen that has a lot of long-term questions, given Osuna’s situation and the number of veterans only signed through this season.