Anthony “Tony Buckets” Kay is a former first-round pick (by the Mets) out of the University of Connecticut (31st overall in 2016). He debuted as a Major-League pitcher September 7, 2019, and logged 70⅔ innings for the Toronto Blue Jays over a four-year period. He was traded to the Blue Jays by the Mets in 2019, along with Simeon Woods Richardson and cash, for future Cubs hurler Marcus Stroman.
His unprepossessing 5.28 ERA as a major leaguer pretty much tells the story. He walks some people, strikes out about one batter per inning, and is prone to giving up the long ball.
The Cubs are looking for more innings like his 2023 debut, when he pitched an uneventful ninth in an 11-3 Cubs victory, and who knows? Maybe they’ll get them. Stranger things have happened, but I’d temper my expectations based on his previous output and maybe think about how Bailey Horn and/or Ben Leeper might get onto the 40-man roster in order to be available.
Kay throws a mid-90s fastball, a curve, a slider, and a change-up. He used to have a cutter but hasn’t thrown it in a couple of years.
He really hasn’t thrown enough innings in the majors to make a real good evaluation possible. We’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out. In the minors, his ERA is a neat 4.20 overall, with a record of 18-26. 332 innings. Possibly that’s closer to his real value.
It’ll be a pleasant surprise if he’s effective. He did have a nice Spring Training.
Anthony Kay is a pitcher who was selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. He was taken 31st overall as the compensatory pick the Mets received for the Washington Nationals signing free agent Daniel Murphy. Before Kay could appear in a game for the Mets’ organization, he underwent Tommy John surgery, putting him out for the entire 2017 season. Kay returned in 2018 and pitched for both the Columbia Fireflies and the St. Lucie Mets compiling a combined record of 7–11. Kay opened the 2019 season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies before bring promoted to the Syracuse Mets. — Thomas Yorke.
It’s been a long road for Kay. We can’t know how much of the roadbed has been laid in Chicago. Only time will tell.