Blue Jays: Thole, Diaz and Other Notes

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 2: Aledmys Diaz
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 2: Aledmys Diaz /

A former Blue Jays backup catcher will be joining the broadcast booth for the upcoming road trip, temporarily replacing regular colour commentator Mike Wilner. Elsewhere, the Jays await the return of Aledmys Diaz while gearing up for their first road trip of the season, which will include a visit to Texas.

Josh Thole to Join Radio Team for Upcoming Road Trip

According to Alex Seixeiro of the FAN 590, former Blue Jays backup catcher Josh Thole will be joining the radio team for the upcoming 9-game road trip. Seixeiro also reports that Mike Wilner will continue to run his normal pre and post-game segments from Toronto.

The announcement comes as a big surprise, as many Jays fans weren’t too fond of Thole during his tenure in Toronto in which he primarily served as a personal catcher for R.A. Dickey. In parts of four seasons in Toronto, Thole slashed an abysmal .200/.275/.248 in 420 at-bats, hitting just two home runs and achieving a -1.2 cumulative WAR. Thole has no prior broadcasting experience.

Aledmys Diaz Could Return to Lineup Friday

According to multiple sources, including Sportsnet’s Ben Nicolson-Smith, Aledmys Diaz could return to the starting lineup Friday. Diaz, who left Tuesday’s game with back spasms, was on a roll, hitting two home runs and driving in four in his last two games. Diaz left the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after taking an awkward swing.

John Gibbons says that he opted to give Diaz the day off Wednesday, effectively giving him two full days off. While he took batting practice Thursday, Gibby cautioned that he is not a lock to start Friday in Texas. A recent offensive force, the team hopes he returns soon.

Fisher-Cats Open Season Thursday 

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

The Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher-Cats, played their first game of the season last night in Hartford against the Yard Goats. The impressive Fisher-Cats lineup will feature the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel, among others.

The starting pitcher for the opener was Francisco Rios, who pitched 86.0 frames last season for the Fisher-Cats, striking out 63 and appearing in 23 games. If you’d like to know more about the upcoming Fisher-Cats season, check out the MiLB season preview written by our very own Craig Borden.

Jays Open Three-Game Set with Rangers Friday

The boys in blue are set to open a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Friday. Game 1 will feature Marco Estrada taking the hill against Matt Moore. Moore didn’t fare so well in his first start against the Houston Astros, taking the loss and giving up four earned runs in four innings of work. He struck out six and allowed seven hits.

Next: Blue Jays: Supplying context for the team’s early success

The Blue Jays will play on Saturday night, featuring Marcus Stroman on the bump against Mike Minor. Sunday’s matinee will have Jaime Garcia going up against Rangers ace Cole Hamels.