The Blue Jays announced today that they have outrighted four players from their 40-man roster. Justin Shafer will remain in the organization after clearing waivers, while fellow right-handed hurlers Rhiner Cruz, Taylor Guerrieri, and Jake Petricka were all sent into free agency after going unclaimed.
Shafer, 26, made his big league debut in ’18 but allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings while issuing a troubling seven walks in that time. He struggled as a starter in the low minors but has posted solid ERA marks as a reliever in Double-A (2.75, 75 1/3 innings) and Triple-A (1.49 ERA, 42 1/3 innings). Shafer has still averaged under eight punchouts per nine innings and walked nearly four per nine innings in the upper minors, though.
Cruz, 32, has bounced around the league on minor league deals since he was a top pick in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft. He posted an ERA north of 6.00 in his rookie season with the Astros following that selection and has never found his footing in the big leagues, as he owns a 5.20 ERA in 79 2/3 frames.
Guerrieri was one of the top prospects in baseball with the Rays before arm injuries tanked his status. He posted video game numbers between Class-A Advanced and Double-A as a 22-year-old in 2015 but has yet to find success in the upper minors (4.86 ERA in 66 2/3 Triple-A innings) since making it back to the mound. He threw 9 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays this year and allowed five runs on nine hits and four walks with eight strikeouts.
Petricka has the most experience of the names in question here, and he posted a 4.53 ERA with a respectable 8.1 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 45 2/3 frames out of the Toronto ’pen in 2018. The longtime White Sox reliever has a lifetime 3.98 ERA in 223 2/3 MLB frames but would’ve been arbitration-eligible this winter. The Blue Jays, rather than pay him a raise on 2018’s $1.3MM base salary, opted to cut him loose early and give him a jump start on finding a new club in free agency.
Thought they might have kept Petricka. He did pretty good late in the season with his new found heat.
Lot of movement too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually finds success somewhere, especially since relievers are so unpredictable.
Petricka has no idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand. Yes he has heat, but if a pitcher can’t control it or has plus offspeed to complement it, which Petricka doesn’t, then a fast heater it is virtually useless.
Petricka before the injury was very good, after not so much.
He belongs as minor league depth.
What the Jays were doing with him this year when they could have promoted other kids or traded to fill that hole is a question. I think we are going to see a high level executive change this year with the Blue Jays Mgmt team.
Think 2021, not 2019. Petricka would not be part of 2021, most likely. Didn’t pitch well enough to stay. Jays need to push the youth movement. Find out what they have, and find players to fill what they don’t.
One can always ask the question of why they were on the 40 man roster in the first place? Shafer is a depth piece the rest are minor leaguers.
Shame to lose Fernandez to the Tigers though. Lefties with power arms take the longest time to find it in the bigs and he is only 25.
None of these guys are elite. It’s time for the Jays to begin to acquire elite players.
You have to be on 40 man to play the majors.
Not yet. 2019 needs to be the season where young guys get their feet wet. Travis Bergen, Jordan Romano, Zach Jackson, Jon Harris, TJ Zeuch….all these guys either need to be in the Jays bullpen or in AAA prepared to pitch when there are injuries.
Sink or swim. Young guys need the experience. No need to grab elite players for a potentially 90+ loss season. Gives everyone a year to see what they have.
That just it. You nailed ot clearly. Shapiro and Atkins are WAITING to see what they have got at the MLB level. but to do a turnaround quickly[less that 2 years] like DD, or Stearns or Cashman…..an executive knows what he has got and trades them away [or keeps the studs] to fill the MLB roster with elite.
Dombrowski and Cashman have much more success using this building methodology than the wait and see mode. Cashman knew what he had in Judge and refused to trade him but traded others instead. Dombrowski didn’t care about trading Moncada away a long as he got Sale, a true #1. All the while they were immediately spending big money to sign players. They didn’t wait.
I have been waiting 2 years already for a rebuild and getting tired of it.
two whole years of waiting for a rebuild to emerge? aw snowflake. it must be hard hating a team that doesn’t win every year
It’s not about hate, and again why are you being so impolite and unprofessional. There is no reason to ever make it personal in these blogs.
Imagine seeing that a team cannot compete, yet being intentionally told by the Blue Jays executives that the Jays are going for it and making stupid decisions over and over.
Deception for money is a very short term business decision and that is what SHapiro did after 2016. There is no way that rotation could compete after 2016 and I called it so along with others back then
That is why I am calling for change in the Blue Jays executive. I want the Jays to compete now. I want the Jays to win now. let’s all paddle the boat in the same direction by voicing the Mgmt incompetence and create a demand for change in the top Mgmt of the Blue Jays.
Yes the wait was too long. June 2017. That was the time. They would have had a huge return for Donaldson, Stroman, Osuna. Look at Smoak, how is he going to be traded when no team wants or needs a 1B? Jays killed their own leverage by waiting. I’m very well aware of their mistake and why they made it.
Go back to 2001-02; Jays hire an Oakland A’s “genius”. He can’t draft, he can’t assess talent and loses almost every trade. Few years later he convinces the brass to spend money after he said he could win with a small payroll like his former team. He spends, a few years later he’s gone. But he gave the world Keith Law, who accomplished nothing as an executive and that cannot be argued.
Atkins and Shapiro are using the same playbook, only they might stay longer than Ricciardi did. It’s all about playing the game and they know how to play it to earn a paycheck.
I think Shapiro is around for a while,. but Atkins could go at any time so could Cherington. I expect Mgmt changes sooner than later.
^Possibly. Shapiro would have the leverage to stay longer. Once he fires Atkins he’s on the clock.
I think Shafer can be a piece. Pleasantly surprised he didn’t get picked up.
Would love for the Brewers to pick up Guerreiri still only 25 and the ceiling is obviously very high on him. Petricka could be a very nice depth piece in the minors with invite to spring but we need to find a good pitching coach first
I have finally figured it out: jimmertree is doing his Ross Perot impression.
“Team losing? Win more games! Players can’t win? Get superstars! Can’t get superstars? Replace the front office! No executives can guarantee titles? Read my comments!”