Ricky Tiedemann’s Early Success Could Accelerate Path To Toronto

After a breakout 2022 for Ricky Tiedemann and a subsequent strong offseason, he has the Blue Jays wondering whether he can follow the same rapid path as current Toronto ace Alek Manoah. 

“I’ve gotten asked about that comparison a lot,” Blue Jays farm director Joe Sclafani said. “They’re definitely distinct cases, but Ricky’s putting himself in a position to be there for people to start bringing that up and have those conversations.

“We hope he goes out and dominates this year. We’re excited for him to be able to pitch in front of the big league staff (at spring training). He’s an outstanding kid and deserves the opportunity. One thing you know, he’ll put in the work to put himself in that position and he gets all the credit for that.” 

One key difference between them is that Manoah had three full seasons at West Virginia under his belt—along with time at the alternate training site in 2020—before making his MLB debut in 2021 after just nine minor league appearances. 

The 20-year-old Tiedemann has only one pro ball season, totaling 78.2 innings, under his belt after the pandemic disrupted his high school and junior college experiences.

The Blue Jays’ primary goal for him last year was to simply get him through a full season healthy. The way he flourished makes his workload in 2023 of critical importance.

Though he’s expected to begin the season at Double-A New Hampshire, Tiedemann could easily reach Triple-A Buffalo—and beyond—with continued success. 

“We don’t like to put arbitrary innings limits on anyone. He’s going to dictate where that’s at,” Sclafani said. “But we’ve also got to keep it in the back of our minds that he needs to be able pitch through the end of September and maybe put himself in a position where he’s into October and helping the big league team win . . .

“It’s kind of hard to find a ton of stuff to put on him (in terms of developmental goals). He just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing and stay on that track.” 

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