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The Blue Jays have signed right-hander Rick VandenHurk to a non-guaranteed split major league deal.  Fellow righty Alan Farina, reocvering from Tommy John surgery, has been put on the 60-Day Disabled List to make room.

Rick VandenHurk pitches against the Blue Jays at the Dome September 10, 2011.
Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Henricus Nicolas VandenHurk was signed by the Florida Marlins as a free agent in 2002.  The 6-foot-5, 215 pound righty made his major league debut with the Marlins April 20, 2007 and allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision against Milwaukee.  The start was cut short by a rain delay.  His first major league decision was a loss in New York against the Mets April 19 but he earned his first win with six shutout innings in Atlanta June 5 in which he allowed just one hit and two walks.  That hit was a leadoff double by future Jay Yunel Escobar in the seventh inning.  For the season, VandenHurk struck out a batter an inning with 82 over 81 2/3 innings but went 4-6 with a 6.83 earned run average and a WHIP of 1.783 over 18 apperances (17 starts).  He was sent down to the minors and earned the win in the All-Stars Futures Game. 

VandenHurk had a shorter stay with the Marlins in 2008 by going 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA over four starts in which he struck out 20 batters over 14 frames.  However, his WHIP was an unsightly 2.143.  In 2009, he made 11 starts in 2009 with the Fish and posted a 3-2 record with a 4.30 ERA and brought down his WHIP to a more respectable 1.330 while striking out 49 hitters over 58 2/3 innings. VandenHurk made two relief appearances with Florida in 2010 that consisted of 1 1/3 innings and a 6.75 ERA before being traded to Baltimore for lefty Will Ohman at the July 31 trade deadline.

Rick VandenHurk
made his American League debut against Texas at Camden Yards August 22, 2010 and struck out two and walked one in his scoreless inning of relief. 

VandenHurk's longest outing with Baltimore in 2010 was 5 1/3 innings against the Jays September 13 and allowed an Edwin Encarnacion solo home run among two hits while whiffing a batter in a game the Orioles won 4-3.  However, the Jays would exact some revenge on VandenHurk by handing him his first American League loss as they got to him for three runs over four innings in a 5-2 win.  His combined season with the Marlins and Orioles saw him go 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA but he racked up 18 Ks over 17 2/3 innings.

Rick VandenHurk has made four career appearances against Toronto, two in 2010 and two in 2011.

VandenHurk spent most of 2011 in the minors before making two starts and two relief appearances for the Orioles in September.  He pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings against the Jays at Camden Yards September 1 despite giving up a hit and a walk but he did pick up one strikeout.  He got the start in Toronto on September 10 but lasted just 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs (homers by Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie) in what turned out to be a 5-4 Jays victory.  His 2011 big league totals were 0-0, an 8.00 ERA and a WHIP of 2.222.  However, he struck out seven batters in nine innings and the Jays hope he can sustain his ability to strike out hitters while cutting down on hits and walks allowed. shows VandenHurk has a four-pitch mix with a fastball, slider, changeup and curve.  His fastball is clocked at 92-93 miles per hour with a slider around 81 MPH, a changeup around 84 MPH and a curve that drops in around 82 MPH.  VandenHurk will turn 27 on May 22.
VandenHurk Joins Jays Nest | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 02:11 PM EST (#252139) #
Nice depth add. We all keep penciling in a Santos/Cordero/Frasor/Oliver/Janssen/Villanueva/Perez bullpen but it's almost inevitable that somebody will have to be backed off during the spring because of arm soreness and the like. The more depth the merrier.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 03:54 PM EST (#252144) #
Speaking of pitching, ESPN Insider has an article by Kevin Goldstein of BP on the 9 teams with the best 5 man groups of starter prospects.

He's divided these future rotations into 3 groups. The star-studded (Dbacks, Pirates, Mariners, Braves), the five-deep(A's. Padres. Rays, Royals), and finally the Jays in a group of one - "Dream a little dream of me".

KG names Norris, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Cardona, Comer, then later Sanchez and Musgrove. He says may not be our best pitching prospects, mentioning Hutch and Deck. However none of the kids has played a full season of pro ball and KG concludes "the Blue Jays are sitting back with seven lottery tickets when most teams are happy to have just one prospect with the upside of these guys.

85bluejay - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#252149) #
Nice depth addition - I read somewhere teams used an average of 10 different starters last season, so this depth is great especially in allowing the Jays not to rush prospects like Hutch/McGuire/Jenkins.   
Chuck - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 04:52 PM EST (#252150) #
Spring is definitely in the air. The term depth is being used to describe a generic warm body.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 05:54 PM EST (#252151) #
Hypobole, regarding K Goldstein's opinion. He is complimenting the Jays group of SP prospects I take it, I was not sure. While unproven we definitely have high ceiling talent & depth. To get to A- Lansing as fast as some of our HS pitchers is very impressive. As is hearing S Fassano say N Molina could handle higher leagues and then go out and prove him correct.

The sheer quantity is staggering.
smcs - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 07:53 PM EST (#252155) #
Meh? Meh. If Vanden Hurk plays any role of significance, something has gone seriously wrong.
cybercavalier - Sunday, February 26 2012 @ 10:20 AM EST (#252267) #
Just a question. I just found out that Garrett Mock was released on February 17, 2012. Does this transaction mean his performance is not up to par so he was released during ST ? Did the Jays management decide that he would have a better chance with another organization given its pitching depth of the Jays organization so he was released? Would he have been transferred to the minor league camp ?
VandenHurk Joins Jays Nest | 7 comments | Create New Account
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