The Toronto Blue Jays have activated first baseman Justin Smoak from the Injured List in time for tonight’s contest versus the Kansas City Royals.
According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, Justin Smoak was activated from the IL and is penciled in to bat sixth tonight while outfielder Billy McKinney is the corresponding move being demoted. The Blue Jays placed Smoak on the injured list retroactive to June 15th due to a nagging strained quad.
The veteran is a safe bet to be traded before the trade deadline at the end of July having spent the last 4.5 half seasons north of the border. Smoak is set to become a free agent at seasons end while earning a modest $8 million in 2019.
The 32-year old is hitting .225/.364/.423 with 12 home runs in 62 games thus far this season. Smoak is coming off a 25 homer season in 2018 and could add some clout to a playoff-bound club.
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Billy McKinney once again finds himself as the odd man out in the Jays outfield. McKinney failed to capitalize on an opportunity earlier in the season when Teoscar Hernandez faltered. Since his call-up, the 24-year old saw action in five games hitting a walk-off homer in 11 trips to the plate.
The outfielder is hitting .215/.272/.369 with 32 hits including four home runs in 164 plate appearances with the big club this season. The future of McKinney has become somewhat cloudy with the emergence of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the outfield.
Tonight’s contest will also feature Sean Reid-Foley back on the bump in a starter’s role, the young hurler has struggled with his command once again this season. Reid-Foley has made two appearances with the Blue Jays in 2019 surrendering three runs in four innings of work.
Reid-Foley and the Jays will look to find their winning ways as they open up a series at home with the lowly Royals tonight.