clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Trent Thornton

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Trent Thornton is a 29-year-old right-handed pitcher who came to us in a trade from the Astros for Aledmys Diaz in the winter before the 2018 season.

Diaz played one season with us. He was pretty good, hitting .263/.303/.453 with 9 home runs, playing short and third base, good enough for a 2.1 bWAR. Since the trade, he’s been a utility player for the Astros. He’s hit .255/.313/.424 with 32 home runs in 262 games for a 3.1 bWAR.

Thornton made 29 starts in 2019, with a 6-9 record and a 4.84 ERA. He threw the most innings of any Jays pitcher that year. And, it was the seventh most innings ever thrown by a Jays rookie starter. In the shortened 2020 season, he made 3 rather terrible starts. That performance bought his way into the ‘long-man’ role in the pen (as much as the Jays seem allergic to using any reliever beyond an inning). In 2021 he had a 4.78 ERA in 37 games, 49 innings. And in 2022 it was a 4.11 ERA in 32 games, with several trips between Buffalo and Toronto in those years. Baseball Reference has him at a 0.8 WAR.

I think it is fair to say that, in our minds at least, he’s been a perennial non-tender candidate. He has one option year left, so he’ll likely continue to take the shuttle back and forth between Buffalo and Toronto for another year.

Trent has a rather basic collection of pitches, fastball, slider, curve and occasional sinker and has league-average velocity. His best pitch has been the slider. He doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts (19.6% last year), and he gives out more walks than you would like (9.0%). And he gives up far more hard contact than we’d like (39.6%).

He wasn’t all that hard last year, .237/.307/.396, with 7 home runs in 189 at-bats. Can’t expect too much better from the last man in the pen.

Thornton gets more hate from us than he deserves. He really wasn’t all that bad for someone that spent as much time travelling between Toronto and Buffalo as he did on the Jays roster.

Steamer thinks Trent will get into 26 games, pitching 26 innings, with a 4.37 ERA.


If the over/under on Thornton’s Blue Jays innings is 26 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    (139 votes)
  • 47%
    (127 votes)
266 votes total Vote Now


September 1st, Thornton will be with the

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Blue Jays
    (59 votes)
  • 39%
    (108 votes)
  • 39%
    Some other franchise
    (108 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now