Blue Jays Pitcher Yariel Rodriguez Rehab Start Cut Short And Lacking Sweetness

May 21, 2024

Alek Manoah’s last two starts have been a blessing for a Blue Jays team that saw their starting pitching depth disappear in a hurry after losing both Bowden Francis and Yariel Rodriguez to injury within a week of each other.

Obviously the hope is Manoah can continue to build on the success of his last two starts however getting back some of this teams starting pitching depth will allow everyone to breathe a little easier.

Rodriguez took the mound in tonights Triple-A Buffalo Bison game against the St Paul Saints (Twins). This was his first rehab start since hitting the IL 3 weeks ago with thoracic spine inflammation. Like this sentence, it was a short one. Yariel threw 16 pitches while getting through only a third of an inning. Austin Martin led off for the Saints and reached on an error, Yariel then gave up a single, a walk to load the bases and a lazy fly ball to left field scoring the runner from third before being removed from the game.

Bisons manager Casey Candeale confirmed after the game 16 pitches was the plan all along.

“He did well, he did what he needed to do, had we caught that first hit out in right field he might have gone longer but he’s healthy, feeling good and accomplished what we set out for him” 

Despite not looking overly crisp, the velo on his fastball was touching 94-95 mph and for his first start in almost a month this has to be viewed as a success.

The Jays still have no options outside of Manoah for the 5th starter but reinforcements are getting close. In the meantime they cross their fingers and hope Big Puma continues to pitch well and show that confidence this fan base fell in love with in 2022.

Scott Belford

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