The Toronto Blue Jays made an interesting move on Saturday morning, recalling outfielder Darin Mastroianni from Triple-A Buffalo and optioning lefty reliever Rob Rasmussen to the Bisons. The team made the announcement via a press release earlier this morning.
The move is interesting as it gives the Blue Jays a sixth outfielder on the roster and also reduces the bullpen to just six arms. However, the efforts of R.A. Dickey and J.A. Happ to work late into their respective outings over the last two nights makes the move a bit more feasible.
What it does do is give the Blue Jays another right-handed bat in the line-up on Saturday, ahead of their match-up with uber-lefty Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. With Jose Bautista currently nursing a sore hamstring and reports indicating that he may not be available until Tuesday (h/t Scott MacArthur), the Blue Jays wanted another right-handed bat in the line-up, making Mastroianni the only available choice for promotion without making another move to clear roster space. Kevin Pillar would have been another option, but could not be recalled for another couple of days without first moving Bautista to the disabled list.
The 28-year-old Mastroianni has received just two hitless at-bats with the Blue Jays this season, but will receive the start in right field. In 56 games with the Bisons, the speedy outfielder is slashing .279/.364/.398 with 4 home runs and 15 stolen bases.
Rasmussen gets the ticket back to Buffalo after throwing a scoreless inning of relief in Friday night’s game. In 6 innings of work with the Blue Jays in 2014, the lefty has allowed 4 earned runs and struck out 7. He owns a 2.62 ERA and a 8.3 K/9 ratio over 24 innings of work in Buffalo this summer.
With Bautista expected to be ready on Tuesday, expect the Blue Jays to make a another switch, likely optioning Mastroianni back to Triple-A in favor of a bullpen arm. Steve Delabar, who was optioned to Buffalo on June 20th, is eligible to return to the team on Tuesday, although he has allowed 2 runs in just 2.2 innings of work since going down. Bobby Korecky would also be eligible to return.