Blue Jays option LHP Thomas Pannone to Triple-A

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ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 4: Thomas Pannone #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 4, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 4: Thomas Pannone #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 4, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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Thomas Pannone will head to Triple-A Buffalo after tossing 4.0 innings over the last week. The lefty carries a 7.40 ERA this season

The Blue Jays announced Thursday that they have optioned left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannone to Triple-A Buffalo. The team has not yet announced a corresponding move, but said one will be coming before Friday’s game.

Pannone, 25, last pitched on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins, tossing two scoreless frames while striking out one and walking one.

A long-man out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays, Pannone has had a rough go in the month of May, allowing seven earned runs in 4.0 innings, surrendering seven hits and walking four.

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For the season, he carries a 1.55 WHIP and an ERA of 7.40 in 20.2 innings across 13 games, two of which he started. At times, he’s looked solid, pumping in fastballs with robotic efficiency and getting decently high swing rates. At other times, however, he’s looked less sharp.

Acquired in July 2017 from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for veteran reliever Joe Smith, Pannone, a native of Cranston, Rhode Island (and a 8th round pick in 2013), appeared in 12 games last season, pitching to an ERA of 4.19 in 43.0 innings.

While there has not been any word of who might be coming up to replace Pannone, it’s possible that the team turns to Buffalo starters Jacob Waguespack or Sean Reid-Foley. Of course, a position player could also be brought up, though that appears less likely. Currently, the Bisons’ leader in innings pitched is Waguespack, followed by Reid-Foley and Shawn Morimando. Jordan Romano and David Paulino are also near the top of the list.

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Regardless, Pannone clearly was struggling and was in need of some rest, especially given the immense taxation that has befallen the Blue Jays bullpen. More to come.

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