Jays Release Minor League Pitchers

Jays Release Minor League Pitchers

In order to clear up some room in the minor leagues for pitchers the Blue Jays gave four pitchers their release.

RHP Mike Smith
Smith began playing for the Jays in 2000 and even made an appearance with the Blue Jays for fourteen games in 2002. In his only appearance in the majors, Smith went 0-3 with a 6.62 ERA in thirty-five innings pitched. In five minor league seasons he posted a 33-28 record with a 3.66 ERA. Last season the twenty-seven year old pitched for the Syracuse SkyChiefs going 4-6 with a 5.28 ERA.

LHP Justin Maureau
Maureau was a highly touted prospect when he was drafted in the third round of the 2002 Amateur Draft, and his hype increased after his first summer in professional baseball when he dominated the NY-Penn League. In 2003 the left-hander spent time early part of the season on the disabled list, and was never the same again. He spent most of the 2004 season on the disabled list as well and returned late in the season. He was sent to the Florida State League and he struggled in six games, causing a demotion to the NY-Penn League. In comes as a surprise that the Jays would give up on Maureau this early in his career. In three minor league seasons the twenty-three year old has pitched to a 3-5 record with a 3.42 ERA.

LHP Chris Leonard
Like Maureau, Leonard was a big time prospect in the Jays organization after being drafted in the 8th Round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, however, he missed all of the 2003 season with surgery and never regained his form. Last season was Leonard's only appearance in professional baseball and he went 4-4 with a 4.45 ERA in sixty innings for the Auburn Doubledays.

The Jays also released RHP Derrick Nunley. The twenty-four year old has been in the organization for six years and had a 11-11 record with a 4.43 ERA.

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