He left the organization in December, but many expected him to return, and on Tuesday he did. The Red Sox returned Rule 5 draftee Jamie Vermilyea to the Blue Jays on Tuesday, after it became obvious that the right-hander would not make their club.
Boston could have placed Vermilyea on the 60-day disabled list, but with no injury, that would not have been fair to the right-hander.
“It was a great experience and the Red Sox really took good care of me, but I understand why they couldn’t keep me,” Vermilyea told the Union Leader from Fort Myers, Fla., yesterday. “The bullpen is deep, they got and gave a couple of pitchers big money to come here and there was just no room for me. I just came here with the hope of pitching well and making it a hard choice for them to let me go.”
“The ball, just when he throws it down, guys just swing and miss or they hit grounders,” Francona told the Associated Press yesterday. “He’s in a little bit of a tough spot with us. We have a very full, veteran staff, but we certainly like what we see.”
Vermilyea appeared in one game this spring, pitching two perfect innings, and recording two strikeouts.
“We’re happy to get him back,” said Dick Scott, director of player development for the Blue Jays.
“Jamie had a shot of making their team, but we knew it was going to be hard for any young pitcher to earn a spot in their rotation,” said Scott. “Talking with J.P. (Ricciardi, senior vice president, baseball operations and general manager of Blue Jays) and Dane (Johnson, roving pitching instructor), we all wanted him back. Jamie throws strikes, is not afraid to go after hitters and doesn’t get into too many deep counts. He’s very efficient.”
Vermilyea spent time with Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Syracuse last season. In 27 games with New Hampshire, the right-hander went 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA. In 16 appearances with Syracuse, he posted a 3-0 record with a 5.60 ERA.
Vermilyea could open this season with Syracuse or New Hampshire.
“It depends on how he pitches because we’ve got a lot of competition this spring for those spots in Syracuse,” said Scott.
“Nothing against the city, but I know I can pitch at a higher level,” he said. “I showed the Red Sox (at the major league camp) that I can pitch at that (major league) level and they told me they liked what I did.”
Now Vermilyea is back with the Blue Jays and all he wants to do is pitch. “As long as I’m playing ball and getting my chance, I’m happy wherever I am,” he said.