The Toronto Blue Jays have shown once again that it doesn’t have to be a blockbuster deal to raise some eyebrows.
With the game and its global reach, it knows no limit to where it can find talent, and according to the American Association, the Jays have signed Laredo Lemur’s closer Mike Benacka. Last week the Jays signed Quebec Capitales lefty-speciality Tony Davis.
Benacka 30, has spent the majority of his professional career in the Oakland A’s organization (2008-2011). Over the course of his six professional seasons, three of which were Independent, Benacka has appeared in over 240 games and saved 56 in including 12 as the Lemur’s closer. His ERA sits at an even 3.00 and his overall record is 22-13. But the Pièce de résistance: 12.3 SO/9, including 15.7 SO/9 while in Laredo this year. (Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference).
While playing for the York Revolution and Lemurs in 2012, Benacka appeared in 49 games recording 13 saves. He surrendered only 36 hits in 59 innings and struck out and eye popping 98 batters.
More than likely he will begin the season in AA, whether or not he makes it up to Toronto is another story. With the superb pitching staff and bullpen the Jays have it’s going to be a tough nut to crack, but will every appearance is an audition. And if he pitches like he did in Laredo it won’t just be the Jays looking to use his services.
They Jays have signed two Independent pitchers in the last two weeks and might not be the last. The American Association has reported that Benacka was the fourth Laredo player signed by a Major League organization this year;
“Chris Murrill to Tampa Bay, Chaz Roe and Matt Way to Arizona”
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.