Blue Jays expected to recall Andrew Albers


Already featuring four Canadian born players on their Major League roster, the Toronto Blue Jays are expected to add a fifth prior to Friday’s game with the Cleveland Indians. Per Alexis Budnicki of the Canadian Baseball Network, the Blue Jays will be purchasing the contract of Andrew Albers from the Buffalo Bisons on Friday.

A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Albers was signed to a minor league deal by the Blue Jays on December 19th and has spent the first month of the season as a member of the Bisons’ rotation. In four starts, Albers has mustered a 1-3 record against a 3.09 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and a K/BB ratio of 2:1. Albers has been even better over his last three starts, posting a 1.92 ERA and allowing just 14 hits over his last 18.2 innings of work.

Albers last appeared at the Major League level in 2013 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. In 10 starts for the Twins, he posted a decent 4.05 ERA and a 3.96 FIP, but also featured a middling 3.8 K/9 ratio over 60 innings of work.

Presumably, the Blue Jays will be adding Albers to a bullpen that badly needs a breather. Entering play on Friday, Toronto relievers have logged 76.2 innings in 23 games, or an average of 3.33 innings per game. Jeff Francis went 2.1 innings in Thursday’s contest, a game that also saw Aaron Loup, Roberto Osuna, and Brett Cecil also handle an inning or more.

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In order to add Albers, the Blue Jays will need to make a corresponding roster move, clearing up space both on the active roster and the 40-man roster. Neither Liam Hendriks or Jeff Francis can be optioned back to Triple-A without first clearing waivers. Given the recent struggled of Hendriks and the redundancy of carrying both he and Francis on the roster as long relievers, the likelihood here is that Hendriks would be designated for assignment. That move would clear both the space on the active and the 40-man roster needed.

The other possibility is that the Blue Jays will option one of their younger pitchers or face a situation where they may place someone on the disabled list. Daniel Norris came out of the game on Thursday after just 3 innings, but didn’t appear to leave due to any injury concerns. However, Norris has dealt with some confidence issues of late and managed just 23.1 innings over 5 starts. There is the possibility that the Blue Jays may give him some time at Triple-A to rebuild his confidence and find his mechanics again. In that scenario, Toronto would still need to make a 40-man roster move to accommodate Albers.

Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated as a move is announced.

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