A quick promotion for Dermody made them teammates at Double-A New Hampshire before Barnes jumped to Triple-A Buffalo. Dermody joined him about a month later.
On Sept. 2, the two 26-year-olds took another step forward, this time together, as a couple of September callups. Neither pitcher was really on the radar back in February, but they closed out the year in a big league pennant race. Barnes even made the postseason roster.
“You’re always excited, especially in that situation, because you move up together and go through some of the same things everyone has to go through when you go somewhere new,” Barnes said. “It makes it easier when you have a familiar face. When I heard he got called up in September, I was thrilled.”
Says Dermody: “I pretty much go to him for all my questions because I’ve gotten pretty comfortable around him. I’ve spent the most time with him, on this team at least.”
Barnes, a 35th-round pick in 2010 from Princeton, forced his way to the majors by recording an 0.73 ERA, a strikeout rate of 11.3 per nine innings and 0.47 WHIP in 61.1 innings. He made his big league debut on Aug. 2 against the Astros before being optioned and recalled again in September.
Dermody, a 28th-rounder in 2013 from Iowa, was similarly dominant at three minor league levels, recording an ERA of 1.82 and WHIP of 1.16 in 54.1 innings before his September promotion.
Along the way, they’ve formed a bond.
“No one else really has that perspective, because who else has been through two previous levels this year?” Barnes said. “It’s nice to be able to talk to someone about it.”
• The Blue Jays fired scouting director Brian Parker and national crosschecker Blake Davis in August. “It’s not about fault. It wasn’t about something they didn’t do,” general manager Ross Atkins said. “It wasn’t about anything other than a different vision, structural change and alignment being different from what was in place before.”