This isn’t the blockbuster deal you have become used to from the Toronto Blue Jays, but it’s one that could have a serious impact down the road.
Specialists out of the bullpen are not very highly regarded by the press or the fans but to a team in contention they are as valuable as anyone in the clubhouse.
Tony Davis, a left-handed reliever with the Quebec Capitales of the Independent Can-Am League, was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, according to the Globe and Mail this past Friday.
Davis has spent four years in professional baseball, the majority of that with the Minnesota Twins organization. During that time he made it as high as AA and put up some impressive numbers along the way.
In 112 games his ERA stands at 3.58 in 161 innings, struck out 139 and picked up 11 wins to go with seven losses. He does appears to have some control problems, giving up 5.1 walks per/9 but his time in Quebec saw that number nearly cut in half to 3.1 per/9 (thanks again to baseballreference.com for the statistics).
Even when pitching in the Independent Leagues, when you put up numbers like a 1.06 ERA in 20 games and strikeout 16 in 17 innings someone is bound to take notice. At 24, Davis still has many years left to become that LOOGY every team needs and a 2.51 ERA in 44 appearances with the Twins AA teams prove it.
The Indy Leagues are becoming a serious resource for MLB teams as evidenced by recent signings such as Kyle Mertins (previously reported by The GM’s Perspective) and it definitely won’t be the last.
Let this be a reminder to those still living the dream. A release or a demotion isn’t the worst thing in the world. Indy ball could be that new beginning you are looking for. Davis and Mertins are prime examples of that.
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.