On Friday, the Toronto Blue Jays released 30-year-old relief pitcher Alex Hinshaw from the Buffalo Bisons. The 6’2″ lefty has played in parts of three seasons in the major leagues but signed a minor league free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays on November 21, 2012 and was slated to be a depth reliever for the Buffalo Bisons.
Hinshaw was drafted a total of four times before finally signing with the San Francisco Giants in 2005 after being selected in the 15th round that year. With the Giants, he reached the majors in 2008, getting over 45 innings of work between 2008 and 2009, putting up excellent strikeout totals (particularly over his 39 2/3 innings in 2008) but struggling with high walk totals.
In 2010 and 2011, he returned to the minors, pitching in AAA and AA for the Giants organization without doing anything to really distinguish himself. He became a free agent following 2011 and signed a minor league contract with the Padres in the offseason and pitched 28 innings with the Padres after posting strong numbers with San Diego’s AAA affiliate in Tuscon. Once again, his results in the majors were similar to what he experienced with San Fran. He posted high strikeout rates (11.6 K/9) but high walk rates too (6.4 BB/9). Hinshaw was put throught waivers and was selected by the Cubs on August 19, 2012. He got into one game with the Cubs, giving up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning. He was granted free agency at the end of the season and signed with the Blue Jays two months later.
With the Bisons, it was the same story. Hinshaw posted a very good 26.2% K rate but that went along with an even higher (and scarier) 27.9% BB rate over 11 innings. With Michael Schwimer and Chad Beck being sent to Buffalo, Hinshaw lost the numbers game and was released by the Blue Jays.