This move returns the Blue Jays to a traditional four man bench and seven man bullpen after working with three and eight since Drew Hutchison‘s spot start.
Burns comes with ability to play all over the diamond, having started games at third base, second base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions for the Bisons this season.
“Being an infielder my whole life, the outfield has kind of been a tougher transition,” Burns told me on Tuesday in Buffalo. “But with [Tim] Leiper in spring and being with [Kevin] Pillar, those guys helped me out a bunch and I’m finally feeling like, in the outfield, I’m starting to get comfortable out there. As comfortable as I am in the infield.”
He’s been heating up at the right time following a slow start, too. Burns is 4-for-9 with a home run and four RBIs in his last two starts, and has played in every game for the Bisons. His versatility should prove especially valuable during the upcoming interleague play.
With the optioning of Tepera back to Buffalo, Chad Girodo now has an opportunity to tighten his grip on the job of Toronto’s second lefty. Especially with Brett Cecil off to an uneven start, he’ll be given some prominent work.
Girodo said on Tuesday that he’s working with his sinker and ground ball tendencies to be stronger against right-handed hitters, too, to create a more versatile approach.
“I know the elephant in the room for me is the righties,” he said. “The big righties. And I want to be able to bridge myself where it’s left-right-left. Where, hey, I’m not just a one-hitter guy. I can get the righty to get to the lefty.”