The Blue Jays sent a couple of players back to the minors yesterday and, significantly, it was the first time this spring that the Blue Jays sent back players who are on the 40-man roster.
According to TSN’s Scott MacArthur, the Blue Jays have optioned pitchers Mickey Storey and Liam Hendricks to the minors.
— Scott MacArthur (@TSNScottyMac) March 8, 2014
That said, there may be some confusion because the notification hasn’t been picked up by many other people and Mike Wilner, one of the Jays’ radio voices, posted a photo of the roster for today’s game in Kissimmee (versus Houston) which included both Storey and Hendriks.
Either way, neither is likely to crack the major league squad for the 2014 Blue Jays. As has been discussed many times before, the pitching staff for the Jays is very deep both in the rotation and in the bullpen and neither Hendriks nor Storey were likely to make the cut, particularly because both have minor league options remaining.
Storey is a 27 year old veteran minor leaguer with a little bit of major league experience, mostly coming from the 2012 season with the Houston Astros when he had quite a lot of success in just over 30 innings, striking out over a batter per inning and putting up a 3.40 K/BB ratio. In Toronto, Storey is behind a huge group of players without minor league options left (and some who have options) and is likely seen as a fringe guy mainly because he doesn’t throw nearly as hard as someone like Jeremy Jeffress or Neil Wagner. He barely touches 90 mph on the radar but had a very good, slow curveball and good control. Storey has always struck out a lot of batters and, on a team with less pitching talent, he could be very productive in the majors.
Liam Hendriks is an Australian righty that the Jays recently picked up off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles but Hendriks has been a nomad this offseason. Originally with the Twins, Hendriks was claimed on waivers by the Cubs, the Orioles and then the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays like his major league experience, having made 28 starts with the Twins over the past three seasons. Hendriks hasn’t exactly lit the major league on fire, posting a career 6.06 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over his career. I’m not exactly sure if he’s a good fit for the Blue Jays in Rogers Centre because his ground ball rates have dropped over the past three years and he has consistently had a home run per fly ball ratio well above the league average which could be a death sentence in the homer-happy environment in Toronto.
Both Storey and Hendriks will be very solid additions to the pitching staff for the Buffalo Bisons.
Don’t forget about The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, available March 31 as an ebook at Smashwords.com, Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers for $7.99. Pre-order information coming soon!