2020 Toronto Blue Jays Reflections: Ryan Borucki

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Ryan Borucki

We continue to look at the 2020 Toronto Blue Jays by looking at one of the Blue Jays’ young pitchers: Ryan Borucki.

A 15th-round pick out of Mundlein High School in 2012, Borucki’s minor league career had been stunted early on by injuries that included Tommy John surgery as well as other injuries that led him to throwing just 68 2/3 innings between his draft year and the end of 2015. He finally got going in 2016, after a rough start in 2016 in Dunedin, he was a much stronger pitcher after spending the rest of the year in Lansing. He would reach Triple-A Buffalo in 2017 and made his major league debut in 2018, starting 17 games for the Blue Jays and posting a 3.87 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over 97 2/3 innings.

A bone spur in his elbow kept Borucki out of much of 2019 as he threw 18 innings in the minors with just 6 2/3 innings in the major leagues, undergoing surgery on August 9 to remove the problematic spurs.

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In spring training of 2020, Borucki got into just one game, throwing 2 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on two hits (including a home run) with two walks and four strikeouts but was shut down because of elbow tightness. When spring training was shut down, it was an opportunity for Borucki to get healthy and while he was pitching in Summer Camp when it opened, he didn’t make the Opening Day roster.


Even though he didn’t make the Opening Day roster, Borucki was back with the major league team for July 27, making his season debut against the Washington Nationals, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. He continued to work out of the bullpen and didn’t give up a run until August 21 (when he allowed two runs without getting an out against Tampa Bay) and only allowed runs in three of his 21 appearances.


Overall, the lefty threw 16 2/3 innings over 21 games with a 2.70 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, striking out 21 and walking 12. While the walks are a bit high, Borucki was solid out of the ‘pen for the Jays and even made an appearance in Game 1 of the Wildcard series against Tampa Bay, throwing 2/3 of an inning with a strikeout on September 21.

Borucki’s fastball ticked up out of the bullpen to average at 95 mph, putting him in the 77th percentile in the major leagues (although his fastball spin rate was well below average, owing to the fact that he was throwing a sinker rather than a 4-seam fastball).

With Anthony Kay stepping up for the Blue Jays, the Jays now have a couple of lefties vying for important starting roles in 2021. That said, Borucki’s successful 2020 out of the bullpen could give the Blue Jays another option to use his effectiveness going forward.


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