Hours before the first of three in Baltimore, the Blue Jays announced a slew of transactions, mainly swapping some bullpen arms and calling up notable Bisons righty Murphy Smith.
While many will surely be watching Kendrys Morales to see if he will continue his exciting home run streak, the Blue Jays may give fans something else to look for in Monday night’s contest against the lowly Orioles at Camden Yards.
As Blue Jays broadcaster Ben Wagner reported, the team has called up right-hander Murphy Smith from Triple-A Buffalo. The team later confirmed that Jake Petricka has been sent down and Luis Santos has been designated for assignment as corresponding moves. The Jays also made a move to swap two righties, sending Justin Shafer to Buffalo while recalling Danny Barnes, according to the same release.
The first of the players involved in today’s offering of transactions, 25-year-old Justin Shafer had impressed in his limited stint with the big club. In five innings, he did not surrender a run and allowed just a single hit, striking out two and walking three. A dominant hurler this year at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo, Shafer is sure to see time with the big club in the near future.
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Barnes, who since June has pitched to an ERA well over 4.00, will try and get his season back on track after roaring out of the gate, tossing 13.2 innings in April and allowing three earned runs (1.98 ERA). After a short battle with knee tendinitis, Barnes pitched briefly in Buffalo and is now getting another shot at salvaging what has been a terribly disappointing season for him.
Murphy Smith, a 31-year-old minor league veteran, is a name that many Blue Jays might never have even heard before. Since being drafted by the Athletics in 2009, Smith has pitched over 1000 MiLB innings, over 300 of which have come in the Blue Jays organization. This season, the New Hampshire native has tossed 62.2 frames for the Bisons, putting up an ERA of 3.59 while striking out 42 and walking 25.
Santos and Petricka are unsurprising names to appear in this move. Both relievers have long been passengers on the Toronto-Buffalo shuttle and will probably see time with the big club again.
As manager John Gibbons told Sportsnet’s Mike Wilner Monday: “The bullpen is banged up…we needed those arms”. Smith and Barnes will at least provide some innings going forward.