The Blue Jays made a flurry of roster moves Wednesday, including designating RHP Preston Guilmet for assignment, and calling up RHPs Rhiner Cruz and Luis Santos.
According to a team announcement, the Blue Jays have designated right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet for assignment and have recalled right-handed pitchers Rhiner Cruz and Luis Santos. Additionally, the team has optioned left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza to Triple-A Buffalo.
Guilmet, 30, was claimed by the Blue Jays on June 9th and has since pitched to a 9.00 ERA in eight innings. A former St. Louis Cardinal, Guilmet pitched an inning and a third in Tuesday’s bullpen driven contest against the New York Mets.
Signed through 2024, it’s likely that this move is being made with the assumption that Guilmet will pass through waivers and will eventually be outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo.
Rhiner Cruz is being called up to the big leagues with the hopes of pitching in a major league game for the first time since 2013. In 8.2 innings for the Bisons this year, the 31-year-old former Houston Astro has pitched to an excellent 1.04 ERA, striking out nine and walking just five. He has one save and has a WHIP of 1.269.
Previously, Cruz was a member of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball. He signed a minor league contract with the Jays on January 25th, 2018, and appeared in eight spring training games, pitching to a 1.29 ERA, striking out three.
Luis Santos, another righty, is no stranger to the shuttle bus between Buffalo and Toronto. In 11 games with the Blue Jays, he’s pitched to a 5.40 ERA over 18.1 innings, striking out 18 and walking seven.
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This year, he’s perhaps best remembered for his abysmal appearance in Cleveland, where he allowed six earned runs in 1.2 innings in his sole major league appearance of the 2018 season. This outing, which was immediately followed by Santos being designated for assignment, caused his ERA to balloon to a ridiculous 32.40.
Finally, lefty Tim Mayza has once again been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. In 12.0 innings for the Blue Jays this year, the Pennsylvania native has pitched to a solid ERA of 3.75, appearing in 12 contests and finishing seven of them. In 14.1 innings for the Bisons, he’s allowed just five earned runs while striking out ten.
This demotion is not necessarily due to Mayza’s performance, which by looking at his stats, doesn’t appear to be subpar by any means. Simply put, Mayza has options, meaning he can be sent down and recalled without having to clear waivers. Due to his young age (26) and his limited major league experience, Mayza has found himself frequenting the Toronto-Buffalo shuttle this year.
Overall, these moves are nothing more than necessity on the part of the Blue Jays. With the bullpen recording 26 of the 27 outs on Tuesday, it was clear that the pen needed some fresh arms. In Cruz and Santos, the Jays have gained some decent bullpen depth without risking any legitimate major league assets.