Blue Jays demand Matt Peacock waivers from Royals

The Blue Jays claimed right-handed Matt Peacock on the Royals’ waivers, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported (Twitter link). Kansas City had designated Peacock for assignment last week.

Peacock, 28, has split the 2022 season so far between the Diamondbacks and Royals, producing six runs in 10 big league innings. The former 23rd-round pick made his debut for the D-backs last season, but posted a 4.90 pedestrian ERA in 86 1/3 innings, recording a 13% strikeout rate during that period. However, Peacock also posted a strong 7.7% walk rate and stellar 59.2% ground ball rate in his debut campaign, and his rate stats from this season’s small work sample generally match. to those displayed in his rookie effort.

He’s only pitched 18 career innings at the Triple-A level yet, and the resulting 7.50 ERA isn’t great. Peacock, however, has a 3.02 rating on a much larger sample of 116 2/3 innings at the Double-A level and has a history of huge ground ball rates and low walk rates. He’s in his second year as a minor league option, so if the Jays hang on to him for more than a brief stint, he’s a free pick this year and next. At least he will bring some short-term depth to a staff that has fallen short of expectations this year.

The Toronto pitching staff rank 22nd in baseball with an ERA of 4.15 and 16th with an FIP of 4.01. Part of that is due to injuries. Hyun Jin Ryu is done for the season and much of Tommy John’s upcoming surgery in June. Nate Pearson has yet to kick off a big league due to both a long bout of mono and now a lat strain. In the bullpen – Peacock’s likely role – the Jays are currently without Yimi Garcia and Julien Merryweather.

That said, the Jays also didn’t get the contributions they expected or hoped for from some key personnel. Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi have struggled for much of the season in the rotation, as have Trevor Richard in the bullpen. Jordan Romano‘s numbers are strong overall, but he did encounter a few bumps in the road after hitting a 1.35 ERA in the first month of the season (4.02 ERA, 15.7% walk rate in his last 15 2/3 innings).

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