Before this evening’s game against the Rangers, the Blue Jays designated reliever Joel Payamps for assignment. The move cleared roster space for the reinstatement of fellow bullpen arm Ryan Borucki from the 60-day injured list.
Payamps’ designation comes as a bit of a surprise, as the righty has worked to a 2.70 ERA across 30 innings this season. That’s the second-best mark of the seven Jays’ relievers who have tossed 20+ frames this year. Payamps’ fielding independent metrics don’t quite support that level of run prevention. His 18.5% strikeout rate is well below the 24.5% league average for relievers, while his 9.9% walk percentage is fine but unspectacular.
That said, Payamps has generated swinging strikes at a fine 11.6% clip, so it’s fair to assume he could strike out a few more batters moving forward. He’s also been one of the game’s best pitchers at avoiding hard contact, and he can be optioned for the remainder of the season. Between his performance and roster flexibility, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Payamps drew interest from other clubs via trade or waiver claim. Toronto will have a week to trade him or expose him to the wire.
Borucki has been out since early May with a flexor strain in his forearm. Before going down with injury, the southpaw pitched to a 4.05 ERA/3.25 SIERA over 13 2/3 innings.