Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
After striking gold in the Rule 5 draft in 2015 with the selection of Joe Biagini, the Blue Jays decided to take another shot in the Rule 5 lottery, selecting Glenn Sparkman from the Kansas City Royals in 2016.
As you may know, for players, getting selected in the Rule 5 draft generally means that he gets an extended audition to stick with a major league team that he wouldn’t get on the club he was selected from. Joe Biagini hadn’t played above Double-A when he was selected by the Blue Jays and he made the most of it. Sparkman also hadn’t gotten beyond Double-A but was also coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2017, so the selection was also risky.
Sparkman got a chance to pitch in the spring but, after just two innings (and giving up four runs), he broke his thumb and went on the DL.
When he was finally healthy, the Blue Jays took their time with his rehab. He allowed three unearned runs on June 1, giving up three hits and one walk, striking out three in 3 1/3 innings with the Dunedin Blue Jays. He moved up to New Hampshire and allowed three runs on four htis and two walks in 3 2/3 innings before throwing five two-hit innings, walking one and striking out five against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on June 13.
Moving up to Buffalo, he made one start (throwing four innings and giving up two runs) before he was moved into the bullpen. He allowed a run in his first outing out of the ‘pen but followed that with two more scoreless outings. By then it was June 28 and the 30 days pitchers are allotted for rehab assignments was just about up.
Recalled to Toronto, Sparkman allowed two hits and a walk to the Boston Red Sox in 2/3 of an inning and, two days later, was charged with seven runs on seven hits in 1/3 of an inning, also against Boston.
Sparkman was sent back to the Royals after that outing and his major league line stood at one inning, a 63.00 ERA and 10.00 WHIP.
After he returned to Kansas City, he was assigned back to Double-A Northwest Arkansas and had a 2.61 ERA in three appearances (two starts), throwing 10 1/3 innings with five walks and five strikeouts before he went on the DL for the rest of the season.
Sparkman is now with the Kansas City Royals and is a non-roster invitee to big league spring training with them this year.
2017 Regular Season Grades
Jay Blue: Incomplete
Emily: F (Small Sample Size)
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