Blue Jays option Daniel Norris to Triple-A, Izturis to 60-day DL
When word leaked that the Toronto Blue Jays were going to be recalling left-hander Andrew Albers from the Buffalo Bisons, the corresponding move remained a mystery. Well, now that mystery has been solved with the Blue Jays officially optioning rookie Daniel Norris to Triple-A Buffalo according to an official announcement from the team on Twitter.
When we discussed the expectation of Albers being called up earlier this morning, I mentioned how it could be a possibility to see Norris get optioned to the Bisons as a corresponding move. Norris has pitched to a 3.86 ERA and a 6.9 K/9 rate in five starts this season, but has struggled to go deep into games due to high pitch counts. After a rough start last week, there was some concern that Norris was struggling with his confidence.
By sending him down for a few starts, the Blue Jays allow Norris to work on the mechanics that he has admitted have gotten away from him at times. It will also give him a few starts against lesser competition to rebuild his confidence with the Bisons. He will be eligible to return to the Blue Jays after 10 days if he shows improvement.
Norris will get some much needed time to work on his command, and will hopefully work through the dead arm phase he was worried about a few weeks ago.
To make room for Albers on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have shifted infielder Maicer Izturis to the 60-day disabled list, per a separate team announcement.
As noted by Sportsnet’s Mike Wilner this morning, Izturis has already been on the 15-day DL for 36 days and has yet to appear in a rehab game this season. Needless to say, he’s a long way away from helping the Blue Jays and moving him to the 60-day disabled list is a mere formality at this stage.
In Norris’ absence, the Blue Jays will likely slide either Jeff Francis or Marco Estrada into his spot in the rotation. While Estrada would make the most sense in terms of performance, that would also leave four lefties in the bullpen, including two that are not known for striking batters out. We’ll have to wait and see how that shakes out.
The addition of Albers will give the Blue Jays some much needed innings out of the bullpen. Toronto had to dip into their relievers after just three innings on Thursday night and the Blue Jays bullpen has logged the 4th most innings in the Major Leagues in 2015.
Next: Blue Jays expected to recall Andrew Albers