Blue Jays Claim LHP Juan Oramas from Padres
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The San Diego Padres have been wheelin’ and dealin’ over the past few days and all of that activity led their designating lefty Juan Oramas for assignment.
The Blue Jays, who have been doing their shopping at Dollarama ever since the Michael Saunders trade, looked over at the Padres’ garbage bin and hope to have found a useful, if slightly tarnished, pitcher in Oramas.
Oramas was actually designated for assignment after the Padres signed Brandon Morrow and, on the upside, he’s only 24 years old and has performed very well as a starter in the minor leagues for the Padres, seeing some hiccups in his time with San Antonio and Tuscon in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Last season, Oramas had a 5.61 ERA through 23 appearances (21 starts) with San Antonio, logging 110 2/3 innings with 45 walks and 93 strikeouts.
Oramas, a Tommy John surgery survivor (in 2012), is a fairly short, stocky lefty from Mexico (listed at 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds) and doesn’t throw hard, mixing speeds and pitches to get hitters out. That said, he’s probably going to be yet another depth arm in the Blue Jays’ system and if he shows up in the majors, I’ll be very surprised if he has much success in the Rogers Centre; Oramas has had a 0.69 Ground-Out-to-Fly-Out Ratio in the minor leagues (meaning that he gives up far more fly ball outs than ground outs).
That said,the general scouting report on Oramas is that he pitches beyond his physical abilities and limitations, hitting 90(ish) with a fastball that plays up due to some deception. He projects to have three pitches that are around major league average or better and has a great feel for pitching. While he hasn’t pitched in the major leagues yet, he is thought to be major league ready at this point in his career.
The Blue Jays will now have Oramas on their 40-man roster and he’ll probably get a chance to win a spot as another lefty coming out of the bullpen who can be stretched out to start if need be. My guess is that he’ll be a borderline starter in Buffalo and could come out of the bullpen in the minors if the rotation is full.