The Blue Jays and Phillies have both announced that Toronto claimed right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. off waivers from Philadelphia. Leiter Jr. had been designated for assignment earlier in the week.
Leiter Jr. got his first taste of major-league action with the Phillies last season, tossing 90 2/3 innings in The Show. His initial performance was somewhat encouraging, as he posted a 3.88 ERA with a 7.89 K/9 figure through August. That showing was largely discredited by a 4.79 FIP, though, and come September the wheels fell off entirely. During a catastrophic final month of the year, Leiter Jr. allowed 22 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings, which included eight homers hit off the right-hander.
This season has been, in some ways, even worse for the 27-year-old. While his 5.40 ERA across 12 relief appearances seems troublesome, the 7.11 FIP beneath the surface is downright dreadful. During those 16 2/3 innings, he’s also walked a whopping eight batters while allowing five home runs. All this has led to Leiter Jr. costing his team roughly half a win (per Fangraphs’ WAR formula) below that of a replacement level player.