Blue Jays Quick Hits: Justin Smoak, Marcus Stroman and more
Blue Jays news and notes from June 30th, 2018, including some details on Justin Smoak’s contract and the return of an old prospect to Toronto.
Smoak’s Options Goes Up in Price
A few hours before he smashed a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday, Justin Smoak triggered an “escalator” in his contract, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Since Smoak has racked up 950 plate appearances over the past two seasons, his team option for next season jumps from $6 million to $7 million.
Davidi also notes that there are more figures that could trigger another increase in the option, including a 1,100 PA clause that could increase the value even more. While it’s likely not going to affect the team’s decision on whether to pick up his option or not, it’s still an interesting tidbit at this point in the season.
Tepera to the DL, Petricka Up
Reliever Ryan Tepera was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list with what is being described as “right elbow inflammation”. Tepera, who has an ERA of 2.97 on the season, told the media that he’s experienced “just a little bit of [inside elbow] soreness”. The full media scrum, which can be found here (courtesy of TSN), features Tepera explaining the timeline of the injury.
In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays have recalled right-hander Jake Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo. Petricka (0.90 ERA, 20.0 IP, 13 SO in Buffalo) has struggled with the big club, pitching to a 5.40 ERA in 8.1 innings. This is Tepera’s first DL stint of his major league career, and it likely won’t be a very long one.
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Stroman Reaches Milestone in Strikeouts
According to the Blue Jays official Twitter, right-hander Marcus Stroman recently recorded his 500th career strikeout against the Tigers on Friday. For the milestone punchout, Stroman sent Detroit catcher James McCann back to the dugout on a nasty pitch down in the zone.
Stroman, 27, has rebounded quite nicely since returning from the disabled list, pitching 12 solid innings in his last pair of starts. For the year, he has a WHIP of 1.541 and an ERA of 6.20, striking out 41 and walking 19 for an overall WAR of -0.4, the third lowest on the team.
Matt Boyd Returns to Toronto
Detroit Tigers hurler Matthew Boyd, who was one of the centerpieces of the trade that brought David Price to Toronto, returned to Rogers Centre for the second time since being traded. The 27-year-old southpaw from Washington State tossed a solid ballgame, going seven strong innings allowing three earned runs while striking out seven.
A sixth-round pick of the Blue Jays, Boyd has pitched 88.1 frames for the Tigers this year, with a WHIP of 1.211 and a respectable record of 4-6. His organizational teammate who joined him in the Price deal, Daniel Norris, has appeared in just five games for the Tigers this year and recently underwent major groin surgery.
Next: Blue Jays: Additional details on the Steve Pearce trade