The Blue Jays announced on Thursday that they’ve designated right-hander Nick Kingham for assignment. His spot on the active roster will go to lefty Thomas Pannone, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and will start today’s game. The move leaves Toronto with an open spot on the 40-man roster.
Kingham, 27, was once a well-regarded prospect with the Pirates but made his way to Toronto via trade earlier this year after Pittsburgh designated him for assignment. The out-of-options righty struggled tremendously with the Bucs, leaving the organization with little choice but to make a move. Kingham fared considerably better in 18 innings with the Jays, pitching to a 3.50 ERA with 12 strikeouts against seven walks (one intentional. However, the alarming home run issues that plagued Kingham in his final season with the Pirates carried over in Toronto. He served up four homers as a Blue Jay.
Toronto will now have a week to trade Kingham, release him or pass him through outright waivers. He’s never cleared waivers in the past, nor does he have three years of MLB service time, so if Kingham does clear, he can be outrighted to Triple-A and remain with the club without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster. It’s not out of the question that another organization will want to try its hand at straightening out the long-promising right-hander, though. If he does land with another club, he’ll need to stick on the big league roster due to the aforementioned lack of minor league options.