Injured Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki’s next start will come at the Major League level, manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters Thursday (Twitter link via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). Borucki has spent all season on the 60-day injured list, so he’ll need to be added back to the 40-man roster. Nick Kingham’s DFA earlier today gives the Jays an open spot.
Borucki, 25, presents Toronto with a potential long-term piece in the rotation. He emerged for his first look at the MLB level last season and more than held his own in the hitter-friendly American League East, as he pitched to a 3.87 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9 and a 46.8 percent ground-ball rate. Borucki’s K/BB numbers weren’t particularly strong, so barring an improvement on that front, he’ll need to keep limiting the long ball as he did in 2018 to maintain that success. That’s a tougher task than ever amid the current home run deluge in MLB, although Borucki entered the season having averaged just 0.58 HR/9 in his minor league career.
An elbow issue sidelined Borucki in Spring Training and ultimately kept him out far longer than initially anticipated. He’s made four rehab outings in the minors over the past few weeks, during which he’s tallied 18 innings with an even 3.00 ERA and a strong 19-to-3 K/BB ratio.
Borucki will return to a rotation that also includes Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Trent Thornton but has seen turnover in the other starting spots. He’ll help to solidify that mix for a brief time, but the Blue Jays seem extremely likely to trade Stroman in the next 13 days and could move Sanchez as well. The impending Stroman deal makes Borucki’s return all the more important for Toronto, as the veteran rotation candidates the front office picked up — Clayton Richard, Edwin Jackson, Clay Buchholz and Matt Shoemaker — have all either pitched poorly or been sidelined by injury.