Wednesday afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they had optioned starting pitcher Mitch White to Triple-A Buffalo, while placing Teoscar Hernandez on the paternity list. In corresponding moves the Blue Jays have recalled both Zach Pop and top prospect Gabriel Moreno.
Hernandez was front and centre of Tuesday night’s beef with Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Bryan Baker that led to the benches being cleared. The veteran right fielder had his eight-game hitting streak snapped, in which he was 11 for 32 (.344). Hernandez has had an up and down season, but there is no doubt that the club will need him back for the last couple of weeks. The two-time Silver Slugger award winner has 20 home runs and is posting a slash line of .263/.315/.476 in 109 games this season. This is only speculation, but the Blue Jays claiming Bradley Zimmer back off waivers could have been in anticipation of Hernandez departing for a few games.
The Blue Jays acquired White at the trade deadline and he has struggled since being slotted in the five spot in the rotation. Over his last three starts he has surrendered 18 earned runs in 12 innings. Since joining the club, White is 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA. White made two appearances in Triple-A back in June while still with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization where he did not surrender a run over 11.2 innings. With only four weeks left in the season it is unclear if White will get another opportunity in the rotation.
Pop was another trade deadline acquisition and the Canadian-born pitcher has done everything asked of him since joining the organization. The only reason Pop has been up and down with the club is because he has options available to him and most other pitchers don’t. He most recently pitched a shutout inning for the Blue Jays on Monday during the doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles, needing just 11 pitches to have a clean ninth inning which included striking out Gunnar Henderson.
The Blue Jays made four moves on Wednesday afternoon, including recalling one of baseball’s top prospects Gabriel Moreno ahead of Wednesday night’s game.
The big news of the day is bringing up top prospect Gabriel Moreno from the Buffalo Bisons. This is a move I think the Blue Jays should have done sooner as they were carrying just two catchers with Alejandro Kirk penciled in as the designated hitter in most games he’s not behind the plate. Moreno had one brief stint with the big club from mid-June to early-July where he posted a slash line of .276/.300/.293 in 18 games. Over his last ten games with the Bisons, the young catcher has four three-hit games, including a four-hit game on August 21.
Do you think Moreno is here to stay for the remainder of the regular season? My guess is once Hernandez is ready to return, the club will designated Zimmer for assignment.