The moves appear to clear the way for Randy Choate to open the season as the Toronto Blue Jays situational lefty out of the bullpen
The Toronto Blue Jays have reassigned pitchers David Aardsma, Chad Girodo and Chad Jenkins to minor league camp, trimming their Major League spring roster to 44 players ahead of their Friday night game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Three separate paths are represented here. Aardsma, the veteran, is looking to keep his Major League career alive after being an impact closer for the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and 2010. The right-hander appeared in 33 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2015 posting a 4.70 ERA.
Jenkins was at risk of being lost on waivers earlier in the offseason, but fortunately, the former first-round pick cleared and will remain within the organization. He continues to yo-yo between the Blue Jays and triple-A Buffalo Bisons, but remains a valuable piece of organizational depth. His role with the Bisons will be interesting to watch, as he’s swung between the starting rotation and long relief frequently in recent seasons.
Girodo, on the other hand, is still on the rise. The lefty-specialist was considered to be a dark horse in the competition to replace Aaron Loup should he begin the season on the disabled list, but veteran Randy Choate now appears to be lined up for the job. Girodo is likely to open the season with triple-A Buffalo and a strong performance could make him the next man up if a left-hander is needed.
Friday’s good news comes on the Edwin Encarnacion front, as the designated hitter faced live pitching today and did not experience any further issues with his oblique. Encarnacion added that he will take batting practice over the weekend.
There is time for the Blue Jays to avoid the disabled list with their cleanup hitter here, but it’s getting awfully thin. Thankfully, Encarnacion has a simple swing and has ample experience returning from nagging injuries.