Blue Jays announce pair of roster moves ahead of Guardians series

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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After an uneventful sweep at the hands of their rivals Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays will look to change their fortunes against the Cleveland Guardians this weekend to begin their six-game road trip. Prior to today’s matchup, the Blue Jays announced a pair of roster moves ahead of their upcoming three-game series.

Right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodríguez has been officially activated off the IL to make the start tonight against the Guardians after joining the team this past Monday. In a corresponding move, the Jays have optioned right-handed reliever Ryan Burr to Triple-A Buffalo.

Rodríguez was one of the Jays’ key free agent signings this past offseason to help bolster their pitching staff. Following extended spring training to build up his arm strength, Rodríguez finally made his highly anticipated MLB debut as a starter with the Jays in mid-April. Despite being on a limited pitch count, he produced two strong starts to begin his major league career, yielding just two earned runs with 13 strikeouts over just 7.2 innings pitched. 

However, Rodríguez struggled to find his game in his following two starts before landing on the IL due to thoracic spine inflammation. On the season, he has compiled a 4.11 ERA and 1.76 WHIP with 16 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. With Alek Manoah done for the year after undergoing season-ending elbow surgery, Rodríguez will regain his spot in the starting rotation upon his return, as the Jays had been going with a bullpen day for every fifth start in the rotation in recent weeks.

As for Burr, he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies back at the end of May at a time when the Jays’ pitching staff was hit by injuries. In his two stints with the Jays since, he has compiled a 4.91 ERA and 1.64 WHIP, giving up two earned runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 3.2 innings of work in three appearances. Burr will now report to Buffalo where he will serve as pitching depth for the organization.

Hopefully, with Rodríguez back, it will finally help stabilize the Jays’ starting rotation along with giving the bullpen the proper rest to remain an effective group going forward.