One of the last vestiges of the J.P. Ricciardi era in Blue Jays’ management, Chad Jenkins, has been released. Jenkins, the Blue Jays’ first-round pick in the 2009 draft, appeared in 20 games this season with the Buffalo Bisons before his release.
Jenkins was the 20th overall pick in the 2009 draft and was a textbook example of J.P. Ricciardi’s “low-ceiling” approach to the draft. As a college ace at Kennesaw State University, the big-framed Jenkins didn’t project well with great stuff but was more developed and promised to make the major leagues faster and offer the club a back-end starter or reliever somewhat quickly. Jenkins signed for $1.359 million and spent parts of three years in the minors with solid but unspectacular numbers before reaching the majors in 2012.
In parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays, Jenkins had a 3.31 ERA in 100 2/3 innings, posting a 1.25 WHIP while striking out only 12.1% of batters and walking 6.2%. Jenkins got a lot of ground balls, particularly in the 2014 and I was projecting him to be a Mark Buehrle-like arm but with more velocity from the right side. He came through on that projection in 2014 but didn’t get much of a chance with the major league team in 2015 (just 3 2/3 innings) and it was clear that he had fallen out of favour with the management.
In 2016, Jenkins was removed from the roster and was sent to Buffalo where he was used mostly out of the bullpen, another step back for him. This season, Jenkins has made a couple of trips to the DL while posting a 5.16 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over 29 2/3 innings coming out of the Buffalo bullpen.
Best of luck to Chad Jenkins, wherever he lands.
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