Blue Jays pick up Zac Rosscup to supplement bullpen

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Zac Rosscup is a veteran lefty who can get lefties out. (Stephen Brashear/AP)
Zac Rosscup is a veteran lefty who can get lefties out. (Stephen Brashear/AP)

As the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff continues to churn, the club has found itself a potentially-handy reliever in the form of Zac Rosscup.

The club snagged Rosscup off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Thursday after designating Jimmy Cordero for assignment after a single outing with the team. The veteran left-hander has a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings with the Mariners this season.

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While his ERA has been solid, the fact he’s walked precisely a batter per inning likely led to the Mariners designating him for assignment last Friday. Rosscup has had control problems his entire career and carries a 5.65 BB/9 in 79.2 MLB innings.

Despite that rather significant blemish, the 30-year-old has his uses. His career K/9 of 12.09 is extraordinary thanks to a nasty slider that he pairs with a fastball that sits around 92 MPH.

Where he really excels is getting left-handed bats out. In his MLB career he’s faced 160 lefties and held them to a .129/.277/.242 line. That ability has held up in a small 2019 sample — albeit with a few too many walks — as lefties have slashed .087/.323/.087 in 31 trips to the plate.

If we’re talking about the hierarchy of Blue Jays’ needs, it must be said that “lefty specialist” is far from the top, but Rosscup could be a nifty tool for Charlie Montoyo at some point. Lefty specialists also tend to have value for contenders come trade deadline time, so there’s a scenario where the Blue Jays get Rosscup rolling and are able to ship him out of town for a lower-tier prospect or two in a couple of months.

That outcome is far from thrilling, but considering they got him for nothing, they’d definitely take it. If nothing else, the Blue Jays can add to their collection of guys who’ve pitched an immaculate inning with Rosscup joining Clay Buchholz and Thomas Pannone.

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