This past Friday afternoon the Braves made an unexciting yet necessary transaction when the team acquired right-handed reliever Ty Tice from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash.
Source: the Braves have acquired DFA’d RHP Ty Tice from the Blue Jays for cash considerations.
— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) June 4, 2021
If you aren’t familiar with Tice that’s understandable. The 24-year-old only made his MLB debut this season and has logged just seven major league innings so far. Tice was the low man on the totem pole in Toronto and his roster spot was ultimately sacrificed early last week following the Jays’ signing of veteran pitcher (and former Brave) Carl Edwards Jr..
Due to his smaller size (5-9, 185lb), Tice perhaps hasn’t received as much prospect attention over the years as warranted. Although back in July of 2019, he was actually profiled by The Athletic in a piece that perhaps suggested he might be an up-and-coming pitcher in the Blue Jays system.
Here’s what John Lott wrote about Tice in that post nearly two years ago…
“Tice is a three-pitch, late-inning reliever, blissfully toiling in the tall grass outside the pasture populated by prime prospects. Size notwithstanding, he throws hard. When he turned pro in 2017, his fastball averaged about 93 mph. This year in Triple-A Buffalo, he’s averaging 95-96 mph, occasionally touching 98. He also throws a nasty slider and has resurrected a curveball he hadn’t used since college.”
At least in the minor leagues, the results have certainly been there for Tice. In four seasons that span 143 ⅓ innings (all in the Blue Jays system), the Arizona native has compiled a stingy 2.07 ERA to go with 9.7 strikeouts per nine and 4.1 walks. And just as impressive as the run-prevention and strikeout-rate, Tice also appears to be incredibly successful at home run prevention, shown by his miniscule seven homers allowed. Down on the farm at least, this is a dominant arm.
But as is always the case with transactions like these, teams are looking for results at the big league level, and that will be the main priority for Tice as he starts his stint with the Braves organization. Can those impressive minor league numbers translate into real success out of Atlanta’s bullpen, a group that entering Sunday was one of the five-worst in baseball, in terms of ERA? We’ll just have to see.
Either way, Tice will take a spot on Atlanta’s 40-man but was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, where he’ll most likely shuttle back and forth to and from Atlanta as needed given he still has all of his options.
It’s another small move, but considering the inconsistency of this Braves bullpen, maybe Tice can provide some reinforcement.
Photo: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire