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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Patrick Murphy

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Murphy was added to the 40-man roster, back in November, to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

He was our 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft. He missed pitching in his senior year because of Tommy John surgery and then he had a grand total of 4 innings over 2014 and 2015, with more surgeries (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and then having a nerve moved in his elbow). Good to get all the injuries out of the way before getting to the majors,

In 2016 he pitched 90.2 innings, putting up a 3.18 ERA, but then a 17.1% strikeout rate didn’t thrill us.

2017 he pitched 106.2 innings, with a 3.04 ERA but again a 17.2% strikeout rate didn’t send him to the top of our prospect list.

Last year he pitched 152.2 inning, had a 2.65 ERA and his strikeout rate jumped to 22.5% and he jumped up to number 13 on our prospect list. Pretty good considering the influx of prospects who have been added to the system.

Why the improvement in strikeouts? Baseball America tells us:

His velocity has increased over the year, now sitting at 92-95 mph with good movement and reaching 98 mph. He pairs it with a curveball that’s still inconsistent but flashes plus. Murphy has tinkered with different grips on his changeup and tried throwing it more often in 2018, but it’s still a firm, below-average pitch and a key point for his development.

With the lost seasons, he’s a little behind. Patrick turns 24 in June and he’s pitched 6 innings in Double A.

In a FanGraphs story, Murphy talks about his curveball saying:

“Growing up, it was always my favorite pitch,” said the Chandler, Arizona, native. “I’ve been throwing it for a while. Omar Daal was one of my coaches in club ball — this is when I was around 12, 13, 14 — and he helped me out with it a lot. Blas Minor was my high-school pitching coach, and I learned a lot from him, too.”

Maybe he is a cautionary tale for learning to throw a curveball young. When my boys were young and in little league us coaches were warned about not talking to the boys about curves.

Where is he going to pitch this year?

He finished last year with a start in New Hampshire, so I’d imagine he’ll spend most of the season there. We have an overload of pitchers could start the year at Buffalo.

Will we see him in Toronto?

Partrick is on the 40-man, so it could happen. There are a half dozen guys in front of him who will be waiting for that needed spot start. But if he’s pitching well and if they need a spot start that lines up with his turn in the rotation. We have 21 pitchers on the 40-man roster and 3 others (Axford, Buchholtz and Norris) who will be put on the 40-man (of course there will be pitchers coming off the 40-man to make room for those 3) but the battle for a spot start will be at least half a dozen guys deep.

Next year, presuming he has a decent 2019, he should be in the running for a rotation spot.


Will we see Patrick Murphy in Toronto this year?

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