April 21, 2021

Julian Merryweather Had an Exciting Opening Weekend (FanGraphs)

Just a few weeks ago, Julian Merryweather was fighting for a spot on the Blue Jays Opening Day roster. A back injury suffered early in spring training pushed his Grapefruit League debut back to mid-March and he struggled to get up to speed in such a compressed timeframe. But then Kirby Yates went down with an elbow injury that would require Tommy John, a couple of other pitchers were sidelined to start the season, and Merryweather just barely snuck onto Toronto’s 26-man roster on March 31.

The very next day, he was pitching in the 10th inning in Yankee Stadium, trying to hold a one-run lead on Opening Day. He came one pitch away from throwing an immaculate inning and ended up striking out the side to secure the win. Three days later, he was thrown into the fire again, this time being asked to protect a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. He recorded two more strikeouts in that outing and earned the second save of his career.

When I wrote about what the Blue Jays bullpen might look like without Yates a few weeks ago, Merryweather wasn’t even on my radar. Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis have definitely been in the mix for high-leverage work — they threw in the…

Read “Julian Merryweather Had an Exciting Opening Weekend” at FanGraphs