Todd Redmond Staking His Claim In 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Rotation

By Thom Tsang
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you even had an inkling that the center of attention in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation would be one Todd Redmond by in the second half of 2013, feel free to pat yourself on the back … and I hope you’ve been buying your lotto tickets, because you’re probably going to be very rich, very soon.

Well, now that all backs have remained un-patted and no instant millions have been won, I think we can go ahead and accept that the right-hander’s emergence is one of the unlikeliest of unlikely storylines that Toronto has seen thus far — arguably more so than Chien-Ming Wang, Esmil Rogers, and Ramon Ortiz put together, even.

And if the 28-year-old has anything to say about it, it’s a story that won’t end like it did for those who came before him in the pitching carousel.

That statement was once again made on Sunday, as the unheralded minor leaguer continued to dazzle in his run with the Blue Jays, putting in 6.1 innings of six-hit, one-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays en route to a hard-luck no decision.

The only significant mistake he made on the night came on the second pitch he dished out to a red-hot Evan Longoria, and outside of the third baseman (who also doubled against the hurler in his second at-bat), Redmond was able to navigate through the Rays’ lineup with relative ease.

His latest turn gives him a 2.40/1.27 ERA/WHIP though 15 innings in August thus far, and following a revelatory July in which he posted a 3.42/0.97 ERA/WHIP with a .186 BAA, Redmond is making a strong case to stick around next season … by being arguably the Blue Jays’ very best starting pitcher in the second half.

Now, that might now mean a whole lot for a team that’s currently being anchored by expected mid-rotation starter Mark Buehrle, but as is seemingly the case in recent years for the Blue Jays’, it’s the relative unknowns that have ended up grabbing the spotlight.

Whether that’s good or bad news depends on what you think of folks like  Carlos Villanueva and Aaron Laffey, I suppose.

It is important to note here that the sample size on Redmond is quite small at 43.1 innings, so there are plenty of opportunities for him to implode and get kicked off the ride that is the Blue Jays rotation. In fact, if you were going by reason, it does make sense to not get too attached to a likely unsustainable 85.7 percent strand rate and a Phil Hughes-esque 1.45 HR/9 rate ….

… then again, reason might also suggest that he should have never come this far. So why not enjoy the ride?

Thom is an MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @BlueJaysRant, or add him to your network on Google

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