Blue Jays announce pair of roster moves, immediately lean on newly-recalled pitcher

Apr 29, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yariel Rodriguez (29)
Apr 29, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yariel Rodriguez (29) / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have placed Yariel Rodriguez, their newest addition to the starting rotation, on the 15-day injured list and have recalled right-hander Zach Pop from Triple-A Buffalo.

Rodríguez has been placed on the injured list with thoracic spine inflammation and Pop was active for Tuesday night's loss to the Royals. He made it into the game, too, pitching a single scoreless inning with a strikeout.

Rodríguez, fresh off signing his five-year, $32M contract during this past offseason, has appeared in four games for the Blue Jays this season, including one on Monday night, and has been quite good thus far. Over those four starts, the right-hander has allowed seven earned runs, two home runs, and struck out sixteen.

Pop, conversely, has had his fair share of struggles since coming to Toronto. He was acquired alongside former Blue Jay reliever Anthony Bass in exchange for shortstop prospect Jordan Groshans in August of 2022.

Since joining the Blue Jays, Pop has appeared in 32 games for the club with a 4.24 ERA to show for it.

While Rodríguez is sidelined, it's unknown who the fifth starter in the rotation will be, although Paolo Espino, Trevor Richards, and Alek Manoah are all possibilities.

It was just last week that it was reported that the Blue Jays have maintained "Manoah is a starter."

Manoah took the ball last night against the Indianapolis Indians and the MLB's No. 1 overall draft selection from 2023, Paul Skenes. After a rough last couple of starts for the right hander in the minors, Manoah dazzled last night, going six innings, allowing two hits, one run, only walking two, and racking up twelve strikeouts.

It appears it may be decision time for the Blue Jays and it appears Alek Manoah may finally have another shot at the big leagues.