Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays call up Neil Wagner, option Marcus Walden


The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Twitter that right-handed reliever Neil Wagner has been called up while another right-hander Marcus Walden has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Walden did not make an appearance during his brief stint with the Blue Jays and it appears the only reason he was called up was because of a mistake made by the Jays’ front office. Originally the team reported through Twitter that Chad Jenkins would be called up from the Bisons when Jeremy Jeffress was DFA’d but that was against league rules. Once a player has been optioned he must spend at least ten days in the minors before the team can call him back up.

This forced the Blue Jays to promote a player not on the 40-man roster and that player happened to be Walden. He pitched okay during spring training but it was expected once the 10-day window opened up he would be optioned.

Wagner should have made the Blue Jays out of spring training but because the Blue Jays did not want to expose Jeffress to waivers at the time he was forced to start the year at Triple-A. It’s nice that he’s being called up basically as soon as he was available and should add even more depth to an already stacked bullpen.

He throws hard and his fastball is his best pitch while he’s also been working on his slider the past couple of seasons. He also mixes in a changeup every now and then. Last year in 38 innings he struck out 33 batters with a 2.54 K/BB rate and pitched to a 3.79 ERA.

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Tags: Marcus Walden Neil Wagner Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    I really like the heat Wagner brings. His fastball is wipeout material. Pitchers like Santos use the fastball to set up the off speed arsenal but Wagner just blows by people. Filthy.

    • JP

      why not option Kratz. I don’t see why he is here. Thole needs more plate appearances if he is expected to hit. We have Sierra as right hand ph and he too needs more at bats in order to produce. I hope Kratz goes down when Reyes returns and we keep Diaz.

      • Andrew van Laar

        Because Kratz is off the hizzy! Sorry… I saw a rapper post on the right lol. I think Kratz is our RH power bat right now. We all want Sierra to have power, but he really hasn’t shown too much. Plus Kratz is a better defensive catcher (imo) than Thloe in case Navarro needs to come out. I like Kratz on the team but I agree, Diaz could be the one who stays when Reyes is back.

      • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

        I could probably write an entire post about this but I actually think Thole should be the one sent down. Kratz is better at the plate and in the field and can spell Navarro more often without sacrificing too much offensively. However for the moment if they are insistent on getting Thole with Dickey, Kratz might be their best option against LHP off the bench.

        • JP

          No way. I was not happy with Kratz catching Hutchison. Kratz’ good hitting in ST was an outlier. His lifetime OBP is .281 while Thole’s is .323.

          • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

            However Thole has been terrible since his 2012 concussion .584 OPS in 2012 (including his hot start before he got knocked out) and .497 last year. I’m just not convinced he’s the same player at the plate he once was.

          • JP

            I think he’s looked much better at the plate so far this year and he has lost weight. , I think last season might have been the outlier but we won’t know for sure till he gets more AB’s. It’s also possible Goins gets sent down when Reyes returns as Izturis clearly plans to stay at 2nd. DIaz is a more versatile back up than Goins.

          • Andrew van Laar

            Outlier is one year. The last two years Thole has been pretty bad…

          • JP

            unfair to count the last part of the injury year…..he was good before the concussion so I think u r misrepresenting this……as I said, he needs AB’s this year in order to clarify. As for Kratz, his lifetime OBP of ,281 is horrible. He is a AAA catcher who is useful to have in case of emergency. Thole has been, other than last year, a proven major league back up. Play him more and if Kratz is needed, he won’t be far away in Buffalo..

          • Andrew van Laar

            Why is it unfair? We are arguing that post concussion he hasn’t been the same. That would include not being the same the year he was injured.

            Kratz’s OBP leaves something to desire, however we were fine with JP and his lack of OBP (in a sense) because he had power and drove in runs. Kratz has a bit less power than JP and can drive in runs BUT plays premium defense.

          • JP

            I don’t agree that Kratz plays premium defense…..maybe better than average but not premium……Thole does not have as good an arm but receives and calls just as well. As for post concussion ( a valid argument), we will have to see. I thought Thole looked much better in ST than last year and also in the game he caught.

            The main point I am trying to make id that Thole needs more games so we can determine where he is offensively. Kratz is just sitting the end of the bench….send him to Buffalo where he is close if needed.

          • brad

            I was right with you until that last point. Thole is almost as bad as Arencebia at calling games. Kratz has a better arm, is a far superior game caller and is much more adept at handling balls in the dirt. Receiving wise I would agree that their isn’t much difference but that’s the 6th most important aspect of catching(behind game calling, game calling, game calling, blocking and throwing). Pinch hitting wise I would prefer Kratz as well simply due to the threat of power(though as mentioned, I don;t think a successful bench would ever have a pinch hitting catcher). But as the backup catcher on the Jays? Gimme Thole. I think you are right when you say he is due for a bit of a bounce back at the dish…. but dead wrong if you think he should play more than once every 5 days(Dickey’s personal catcher). I think Navaro is up to catching 120 games but if the Jays don’t, Kratz should be the guy picking up the non Dickey backup starts because he is just way better defensively. Not necessarily “premium” but certainly much better than Thole

          • JP

            I don’t think the defensive difference is as much as you proclaim. We will just have to agree to disagree.Again, as with offence, I think Thole should play more to get a better read of where he is now. Is Kratz better off picking up splinters at the end of the bench or catching in Buffalo? Another part of this is that Sierra needs more AB’s too so we can get a better read on him as well. Don’t need Kratz taking his AB’s either imo.

            I don’t think we can go much further with this….will soon see what the team thinks. It is quite possibly an evolving situation which may not necessarily finish where it starts.

        • brad

          I decided I have lots to say about having 3 catchers on the 25 man …..

          1. Pinch Hitting: Sierra cannot play more because they only have one person who plays the OF on the bench….. which is stupid. I think he is a far superior bat to Kratz(though Kratz has a little more pop) and the best they have on the bench. Ideally, they would have a 5th outfielder with a lot of speed for pinch running situations (Gose…. Davis :( ) so that they could use Sierra to spell either of their lefties that can’t hit good lefty pitching(he seems not awful at 1B as well)…. which would make Kratz redundant. But this, sadly is not the case

          2. Spelling Navarro: Navarro is great, I told you so(you being Wray), and he should never sit if Dickey isn’t pitching.

          3. I hate Thole but if it makes Dickey pitch better(it did last year) he should stay with the club.

          in conclusion: Kratz to MiLb(even though he is fantastic defensively), get a fast OF, pinch hit Sierra more.

          • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

            I will admit I was wrong about Navarro he’s looked fantastic.