Taijuan Walker brings a new and improved cutter to the Blue Jays

Having lost Nate Pearson, Matt Shoemaker and Trent Thornton to injury, the Blue Jays were desperately in need of some pitching. So they went out and got Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners. Walker will bring some stability to the back-end of the rotation.
Walker isn’t a game-changing arm. This isn’t David Price circa 2015, but he’s a solid pitcher who can help this team push towards the playoffs. Fangraphs currently has the Blue Jays playoff odds at 65.7%.
In 27.0 innings Walker has a 4.00 ERA, a 4.94 FIP and a 4.77 xFIP. He’s struck out close to a batter an inning keeps the walks mostly in check.
He attacks hitters with a five-pitch mix, four-seamer, cutter, spilt-finger, sinker and a curve. Per Baseball Savant he throws each pitch at least 10% of the time. He doesn’t throw overly hard, averaging 93 on the fastball. He fits into the exact mould of a Blue Jays starting pitcher: mid-range velocity and a large pitch mix.
Walker’s best pitch looks to be his cutter. He throws it 22% of the time and it averages 85.6 mph. It acts more like a slider than a true cutter (Fangraphs actually labels …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Shoemaker out for rest of the season

Initially hopeful for his return, Matt Shoemaker is out for the remainder of the 2019 season after an MRI showed he has torn his ACL.

Torn ACL for Matt Shoemaker. Out for the year #BlueJays
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) April 21, 2019

Injured on an awkward rundown play in the Saturday game against the Oakland A’s, Shoemaker ends his season after an uplifting beginning to his stint with this team.
In five starts and 28.2 innings pitched, he has a 3-0 record with a 1.57 ERA, 0.872 WHIP and 7.5 strikeout rate per nine innings. For a previously-injured 32-year-old, that was insane numbers to add to the early strength in the Jays’ rotation.
In his five seasons with the Angels, his two most recent seasons have been absolutely injury-riddled — pitching only 108.2 innings through those two years.
One positive outlook on this injury is that Shoemaker has another year of arbitration eligibility, hitting free agency after the 2020 season. Considering his recent injury history, it might not be the smartest to be super hopeful that Shoemaker can help the 2020 Blue Jays like he has in just five starts. But if he is able to bounce back at all, he could be another important asset to either help the team …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation