DSL Blue Jays 2015 Report, part 3: Relief Pitchers



We continue our year-end look at the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays with the pitchers who made two or fewer starts.


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Alvaro Galindo pitched exclusively in relief for the DSL Jays and the 17-year-old Columbian got a lot of people interested in what he might be able to do at a higher level of competition. Galindo wound up the season with 34 2/3 innings, posting a 1.82 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, striking out 31 and walking 15. His lack of hit batters and only two wild pitches led me to speculate that his high walk total could be due to nibble at the strike zone, a lower quality of officiating in the DSL or a combination of both or other factors. Still, for such a young pitcher, the results are extremely encouraging and we could very well see him in the GCL next year.



A year older than Galindo was Guillermo De La Cruz, who, in his second year in the DSL showed some improvements but also some regression. While his ERA dropped to 3.51, his FIP actually increased to 5.41 in 2015. De La Cruz also saw a drop in his strikeout rate (to 15.7%) while also seeing a corresponding drop in walk rate (to 12.1%), giving up far more home runs in 2015 than in 2014. De La Cruz did pitch a great deal more this season, throwing 33 1/3 innings for the DSL Blue Jays.


20-year-old Tommy Henriquez made his debut in professional ball this season with the DSL Jays and had some mixed results. He struck out a relatively high batters (19.4% K rate) while also limiting walks (7.0% BB rate) but he had a 4.50 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 28 innings.


Another rookie in the DSL was 18-year-old righty Jose Acosta who didn’t impress by posting a 5.56 ERA and 1.90 WHIP, walking 20 and striking out 16 in 22 2/3 innings. Look for him to return to the DSL in 2015.


Wilmin Lara couldn’t get back to the GCL in 2015, returning for his second season with the DSL Blue Jays after making his GCL debut back in 2012. He missed all of 2013 (presumably with an injury or suspension) and did show some improved numbers, particularly in the control department, in 2015. His 3.48 ERA (and 4.05 FIP) were both improvements over his 2014 results although he pitched five fewer innings (20 2/3 in 2015). He struck out 21.7% of batters while walking only 8.7%, showing big improvements over his previous years. Could he make the jump back to the US in 2016? Now 21, Lara would have to move quickly to be taken seriously as a prospect but the improvements are certainly a good direction to be going in.


The curious case of lefty Jonathan Torres continues. Now 20, the Venezuelan is losing a lot of whatever prospect shine he had previously had. Torres has been in the Jays’ system since 2012 but has yet to distinguish himself. He made his GCL debut in 2014 but walked 15 batters in five innings and the 6-foot-4 lefty got another shot to redeem himself in 2015. While he started the year in the GCL, he struggled to the tune of an 8.53 ERA but a 4.10 WHIP while walking 16.1% of batters. He returned to the Dominican and was stretched out in five appearances (starting two) and posted much better numbers despite still walking 12 batters in 20 innings and striking out 19 with an ERA of 0.90 (3.51 FIP) and a WHIP of 1.05.


Jose Dominguez only made seven appearances with the DSL Blue Jays but they were pretty impressive, as he posted a 1.08 ERA (but a 4.12 FIP) and a 1.14 WHIP, striking out 23.9% of batters and walking 14.1% in 16 2/3 innings. The 19-year-old Mexican missed all of July and only made one appearance in August leading me to believe that injuries are what cost him the time.


20-year-old Venezuelan Elio Silva got into five games for the DSL Blue Jays, only seeing the mound in June. He had a 1.62 ERA, a 2.26 FIP and 0.96 WHIP, walking 5.7% and striking out 22.9%.


20-year-old Dominican Ruben Ventura also got into seven games, missing all of July, but posted some impressive numbers in his limited opportunity. He had a 1.72 ERA, a 1.74 FIP and 0.83 WHIP over 15 2/3 innings, striking out 39.3% of batters with a 9.8% walk rate. All of those figures are tremendous but we’ll have to wait and see what the Blue Jays decide to do with him next year.


Orlando Pascual, a 19-year-old Dominican righty seems physically mature (at 6-foot-3 and 210 lbs) and pretty much dominated his competition, giving up just one run in 13 1/3 innings (for a 0.68 ERA) and walked just one batter, posting a 0.90 WHIP. Pascual struck out 18.0% of batters while walking just 2.0% for some terrific peripherals. He’s another pitcher that we would have to be able to see throw before we could speculate where he’ll end up next year.


Several pitchers threw fewer than 10 innings for the DSL Jays. Jose Agrinzones was the youngest, at 17, posting a 5.68 ERA and walking 10 batters in 6 1/3 innings. At 19, Luis Mendoza threw just 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) with a walk and three strikeouts. 20-year-old Pedro Diaz had a 3.38 ERA in 5 1/3 innings, walking eight in his third season with the DSL Blue Jays, while Wilton Mueses (also 20) had a 4.50 ERA, walking 11 batters in six innings. Manuel Dominguez, 21, walked 10 in three innings and 21 year old Dany Jimenez had solid peripherals (four walks and 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings) but gave up two home runs, only pitching in August.


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