Atkins: Blue Jays 'focused' on adding to beleaguered bullpen
The Toronto Blue Jays aren't resting in their search to improve a beaten-up pitching staff.
General manager Ross Atkins said Sunday the front office's priority is finding more pitching, and especially help for the club's injury-riddled bullpen.
"The opportunity to add to our bullpen and complement our bullpen is what we're focused on right now," Atkins said, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com. "We'll continue working on that. As it relates to urgency, we were thinking of that and working on it when our bullpen was pitching better. We're constantly thinking about how we can make this organization better, and will continue to do that."
The Blue Jays already made one small depth move, acquiring reliever Jacob Barnes from the New York Mets on Saturday. But any larger deal may be harder to execute right now, as non-contenders are placing high prices on top-tier veteran relievers, sources told Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith.
By fWAR, Toronto pitchers have combined for the worst production in the American League, and only the MLB-worst Diamondbacks rank lower. The team's staff entered Sunday's game sporting a collective 4.13 ERA and 4.45 FIP along with a 16% home run to fly ball rate that's the second-highest in baseball. The bullpen has been particularly bad while posting a 5.25 ERA in June.
Injuries have played a big part in the Blue Jays' pitching woes. There are 10 Blue Jays pitchers currently on the injured list, including relievers Ryan Borucki, David Phelps, and Rafael Dolis. An injury also delayed the start of top pitching prospect Nate Pearson's season, and he's spent most of the campaign in Triple-A.
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