The Blue Jays added left-hander Nick Allgeyer, the club’s No. 30 prospect, to the roster ahead of Saturday's game against the Phillies in Dunedin, Fla., accelerating the rise of one of the steadiest young arms in their system.
Allgeyer, 25, takes the roster spot of Ryan Borucki, who was placed on the IL with a left forearm flexor strain on Friday. When the 12th-round pick from 2018 makes his first appearance, it will be his Major League debut.
Starting this season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Allgeyer threw six innings of one-run ball in each of his two starts, striking out 10 batters over 12 innings. Prior to the lost 2020 Minor League season, Allgeyer posted a 3.95 ERA over 118 1/3 innings with High-A Dunedin, but many within the Blue Jays organization highlighted the lefty as one who made significant strides over the past 18 months.
That will show itself most in Allgeyer’s velocity, which once sat in the lower-90s but now reaches closer to the mid-90s. That’s helped his changeup play better off of his fastball, and he’ll also feature a slider.
Allgeyer is fully stretched out as a starter, but does have experience coming out of the bullpen, which he did for his first two seasons of NCAA baseball with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Anthony Kay, who started Saturday against the Phillies, is currently occupying the No. 5 spot in the Blue Jays’ rotation, but that’s been a revolving door throughout April and May as the club waits for a young starter to take the job and run with it.
“Today, he’s going to be our long guy,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “If Kay gets in trouble or something, he can give us length. That’s very important right now because of the way the bullpen is. He was also doing a very good job in Triple-A and had two good starts, so he earned his way here.”
Phelps transferred to 60-day IL
Adding Allgeyer required a move on the 40-man roster, which resulted in reliever David Phelps being shifted to the 60-day IL. Phelps is dealing with a right lat strain that Montoyo described as “significant.”
An extended period without Phelps is a real blow to the bullpen, which has performed admirably so far. Phelps opened the season by posting a 0.87 ERA with 15 strikeouts over 10 1/3 innings, and had Montoyo's confidence in high-leverage situations.
It’s been a group effort to cover innings as the Blue Jays work through their starting rotation injuries, too, and the club’s current pitching IL looks like this:
60-day IL: Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery, done for season), Phelps (right lat strain), Thomas Hatch (right elbow impingement), Julian Merryweather (left oblique strain), Patrick Murphy (right AC joint injury).
10-day IL: Borucki (left flexor strain), Anthony Castro (right forearm strain), Rafael Dolis (right calf strain), Tommy Milone (left shoulder inflammation).
That’s left the Blue Jays with very few healthy arms on their 40-man roster, and while this churn will continue when these pitchers work their way back, the club will need multi-inning options like Allgeyer to help get through the upcoming stretch.