Thomas Pannone

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Thomas Edward Pannone

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Thomas Pannone was taken in the 9th round of the 2013 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians, out of the College of Southern Nevada. It was his second time being drafted, as, a year earlier, coming out of high school, the Chicago Cubs had selected him in the 33rd round of the 2012 amateur draft.

He made his pro debut with the AZL Indians, pitching with the team in both 2013 and 2014. He was 1-0 as a reliever the first year, but gave up 16 earned runs in as many innings in 14 appearances. In his second season, he did much better pitching mainly as a starter, going 5-0, 3.20 in 11 games, 7 of them starts, pitching 45 innings. He also struck out 62 batters. In 2015, he moved up to the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, going 7-6, 4.02 in 27 games and 116 1/3 innings. He followed that by going a combined 8-5, 2.57 in 25 games between Lake County and the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League.

He began the 2017 season with Lynchburg and had 5 great starts, going 2-0 with a virgin ERA, giving up just one unearned run in 27 2/3 innings. That earned him a promotion to the Akron RubberDucks of the Eastern League, going 6-1, 2.62 in 14 games. On July 31st, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Samad Taylor in return for major league reliever Joe Smith. He stayed in the Eastern League after the trade, moving to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats where he was 1-2, 3.63 in 6 games. Altogether on the season, he had an excellent record of 9-3, 2.36 in 25 games - all starts - with 149 strikeouts in 144 2/3 innings. That performance convinced the Blue Jays to add him to their 40-man roster. However, on March 16, 2018, he was handed an 80-game suspension by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a PED. The substance in question was Turinabol, an anabolic steroid developed in the days of East Germany's state sponsored doping program, a drug that had also been the downfall of Chris Colabello two years earlier. After a couple of rehabilitation assignments in the lower minors, he was added to the roster of the AAA Buffalo Bisons on July 7th. Barely a month later, on August 9th, he was called up to the big leagues and made his debut the next day, pitching 1 2/3 innings in relief against the Tampa Bay Rays. He gave up 2 runs in a 7-0 loss. After four relief outings, he made his first start on August 22nd against the Baltimore Orioles, and it was a good one as he received credit for a 6-0 win and did not give up a hit until a single by Trey Mancini to lead off the 7th. On September 16th, he held the New York Yankees to just 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings at New Yankee Stadium; the win improved his record to 3-1. On September 22nd, he won a third straight start, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-2 with another strong performance. In 12 games, he went 4-1, 4.19 in 43 innings.

On April 14, 2019, he pitched an immaculate inning in relief against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was the third pitcher in Jays history to record the rare feat. He then added two more perfect innings in what was one of the best outings of his career to date. He spent the year as a swingman, making 7 starts among 37 appearances for the Jays. While he gave the Jays 73 innings and struck out 69 batters, his ERA was at 6.16 and his record was 3-6. He was better with the AAA Buffalo Bisons, where he went 3-1, 3.21 in 8 games (6 starts). In 2020, with a large number of young pitchers looking for innings, he was unable to make the major league team's roster, being sent to the alternate training site, and then was passed over when injuries forced the Jays to call up some of these second-tier members of their roster. On August 24th, he was designated for assignment when Toronto added Travis Bergen to its roster.

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