It looks like 2023’s rash of pitcher injuries has extended all the way down to the Minor Leagues now, as Ricky Tiedemann — the Toronto Blue Jays’ electric young lefty who ranks inside the top 30 of just about everyone’s prospect lists — was forced to leave his start at Double-A on Thursday with what appears to be arm trouble.
No. 1 #BlueJays prospect Ricky Tiedemann left tonight's start with an apparent injury to his throwing arm: pic.twitter.com/TULRUFiXyw— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 4, 2023
Tiedemann threw a breaking ball for his 60th pitch of the afternoon, then immediately called for a trainer. He pointed towards his left arm before being removed, but the team has yet to offer any update on his status.
Forced to go the junior college route after his final high school season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiedemann slipped all the way to the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft — and then immediately set about making that look very, very silly. The lefty torched three different levels of the Minors last year, reaching Double-A at all of 19 years old thanks to one of the most dynamic fastball/slider combos around. (He struck out 117 batters in just 78.2 innings last year.)
Tiedemann entered 2023 as one of the very best pitching prospects in baseball, ranking No. 28 on MLB Pipeline’s list. He was roughed up a bit in his most recent outing, but overall had looked as-advertised in a repeat assignment in Double-A — striking out an eye-popping 20 batters in just nine innings of work. The Blue Jays have been dogged about keeping their prized lefty on a strict throwing schedule — he didn’t work past the fifth inning a single time last year, and hasn’t thrown more than 59 pitches this season — but with pitchers, you just never know.