In the first of what is expected to be a series of moves, the Toronto Blue Jays have designated right-hander Ramon Ortiz for assignment and optioned right-hander Thad Weber to Triple-A Buffalo, according to a tweet from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
#BlueJays option Thad Weber, DFA Ramon Ortiz, corresponding moves for pitchers to come
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) May 28, 2013
Ortiz had been a pleasant surprise for the Blue Jays, making five appearances this season, including three starts after having not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011. The 40-year-old had a record of 1-2 with a 4.87 ERA, but also posted a measily 3.7 K/9 ratio over 20.1 innings pitched.
Ortiz’s designation was not quite unexpected, at least for most pundants. However, it did trigger at least one, umm…interesting reaction from a Blue Jays fan on Twitter.
— Blue Jays Talk (@TalkBlueJays) May 28, 2013
While I would be happy to receive something in return for a 40-year-old journeyman with a piddly strike-out rate, pitching on a Minor League deal, something tells me the fish wouldn’t be biting. Ortiz will likely clear waivers and be optioned back to Buffalo later this week.
Weber, on the other hand, is a different story. Claimed on May 19th and recalled on the 25th, Weber made three appearances for the Blue Jays, including taking the loss in Tuesday’s extra-inning affair with the Braves. In three games with Toronto, Weber surrendered 1 run on 4 hits and struck out 2 in 3 innings of work. He’ll return to Buffalo and could be back later this summer if the need arises.
These moves will remove two members of the Blue Jays bullpen prior to a game where another reliever, Esmil Rogers, is scheduled to make a spot start for a beleaguered Toronto pitching staff. That likely means that there will be a couple of corresponding moves to replenish the bullpen and give the Blue Jays some fresh arms to meet the club in Atlanta on Wednesday.
One of those arms, will not be Dustin McGowan. The right-hander has been rehabbing in Buffalo for the past few weeks, but is not eligible to return from the disabled list until Thursday at the earliest. However, the team could look to Neil Wagner (0.89, 14.1 K/9 in Buffalo) or Buddy Carlyle (3.67, 12.0 K/9) to add bullpen depth.
Also facing the Blue Jays will be a decision on Brett Lawrie. The Blue Jays third baseman was held out of Tuesday’s line-up after rolling over his ankle on an ugly slide Monday. Manager John Gibbons indicated on Tuesday that team would decide in the near future on Lawrie’s status, saying “We’ll have a better idea by the end of the day or definitely by tomorrow.” (H/T Gregor Chisholm).
More is likely to come of this on Wednesday, when the team announces the aforementioned corresponding moves and decision on Lawrie. Stay tuned…