Blue Jays Select Kirby Snead, Designate Jacob Barnes

The Blue Jays announced Monday that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Kirby Snead to the Major League roster and opened a spot by designating right-hander Jacob Barnes for assignment.

Snead, 26, was Toronto’s tenth-round pick back in 2016 and has steadily put together an impressive minor league track record. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2019 and would’ve gotten another look there in 2020 were it not for the minor league season being shut down. He’s made the most of his second go-around there in 2021, however, pitching to a 2.01 ERA and 2.28 FIP with a huge 35.5 percent strikeout rate, a 9.9 percent walk rate and a 57.4 percent ground-ball rate in 31 1/3 frames.

Outside of one lone start earlier this year, when he worked two innings (presumably as an opener), Snead’s entire career has been spent working in relief. He’s a pure bullpen addition for the Jays — one who’s never had an ERA north of 3.88 at any level to this point in his career.

Barnes pitched nine innings for the Jays after coming over from the Mets and whiffed 30 percent of the 43 batters he faced, but he also walked six and hit another (16.3 percent). Now 31 years old, Barnes looked at one point like he might be a long-term piece in the Brewers’ bullpen. From 2016-18, he racked up 147 1/3 innings of 3.54 ERA ball with solid strikeout numbers, but he hasn’t been able to recreate that production. From 2019-21, Barnes has 78 1/3 big league innings split among five different teams, but he’s pitched to just a 6.55 ERA.

Barnes keeps getting chances with other clubs, likely owing to a combination of his fastball velocity, spin, chase rate and a strong minor league track record. There’s clearly some tantalizing aspects of his repertoire — you don’t see five teams take a chance on a 40-man roster spot for a player if there isn’t — but he hasn’t found consistency over the past few years. The Blue Jays will now have until Friday to trade Barnes, otherwise they’ll have to place him on outright waivers or release him.

Published at Mon, 26 Jul 2021 22:28:11 +0000

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