Mar 28, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki (66) slides into home plate in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
After defeating the Baltimore Orioles 11-3 on Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays unleashed a flurry of roster moves on Sunday afternoon, all influenced by the team’s need to maneuver around the disabled list. According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays have placed infielder Maicer Izturis on the disabled list, and recalled infielder Munenori Kawasaki. The team has also optioned catcher Eric Kratz to the Buffalo Bisons and activated pitcher J.A. Happ from the 15-day disabled list.
Izturis was a late scratch this afternoon, as a knee sprain removed him from today’s line-up and forced the Blue Jays to slide Ryan Goins over to second base and insert Jonathan Diaz at short. Also according to Davidi, it appears that Izturis felt a “pop” in his knee while taking the steps in the dugout and will have an MRI on Monday in Minnesota.
In his place, the Blue Jays have purchased the contract of Munenori Kawasaki from the Buffalo Bisons as infield depth. As Michael Wray indicated earlier today, the loss of Izturis could means that Ryan Goins will continue to see playing time in an attempt to sort out his season-long slump once Jose Reyes returns.
Kawasaki was a fan favorite a season ago, when he slashed .229/.326/.308 and flashed an energetic spirit that was missing from much of the squad. Many were amazed that Jonathan Diaz got the call-up rather than Kawasaki when Reyes went down, but alas, fate brings Muni back to Toronto for another go-around anyway.
In the other roster move, the Blue Jays activated pitcher J.A. Happ from the 15-day disabled list and according to Davidi’s tweet above, he will be placed in the bullpen for the foreseeable future. The left-hander was atrocious this spring, amassing (is there any better term) a 20.57 ERA in 7 innings of work while walking 9 and striking out 8. He was later placed on the DL with back tightness and sent out on rehab earlier this month. After making two relatively decent starts for Dunedin and Buffalo, Happ was expected to take the ball on Sunday against Pawtucket, but that plan apparently changed.
Erik Kratz was relatively quiet in his brief stay with the Blue Jays big league club. After hitting a home run in his first at-bat with Toronto, Kratz managed just 1 more hit in his next 9 at-bats in limited action for the Blue Jays. With both Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole already on the roster, the bottleneck at catcher was likely to be resolved as soon as someone needed to be activated from the DL. It just turns out that Happ was that guy.
Finally, the one non-move that Blue Jays fans are watching is the status of Colby Rasmus. After breaking out in Sunday’s game by going 3 for 4 with a home run, 3 RBI, and a pair of runs scored, Rasmus was lifted late in the game with what was later revealed to be a mild tightness in his hamstring. No word yet on how serious it may be or if he’ll miss any time, but for now Rasmus is being considered day to day.