Following Thursday’s doubleheader, the Blue Jays made a flurry of moves to fortify the roster
After taking a beating in the second half of Thursday’s twin bill, the Blue Jays were going to have to make some moves to get some fresh bodies on the roster. Friday saw the cavalry arrive, led by a hometown hero.
The Blue Jays called up both outfielder Dalton Pompey and infielder Richard Ureña from AAA Buffalo and also selected the contract of reliever Jake Petricka. To make room, Toronto optioned outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., starter Joe Biagini and reliever Carlos Ramirez. They also designated reliever Luis Santos for assignment.
Today’s roster moves:
🔹 OF Dalton Pompey & INF Richard Ureña recalled from the @BuffaloBisons
🔹 RHP Joe Biagini, RHP Carlos Ramirez & OF Dwight Smith Jr. optioned
🔹 RHP Jake Petricka selected to our active roster
🔹 RHP Luis Santos designated for assignment pic.twitter.com/8UzazRWfxw
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 4, 2018
The big name coming up to Toronto is Pompey, who missed the majority of the 2017 season with ongoing concussion issues. The 25-year-old Mississauga native was a key piece off the bench during the 2015 and 2016 playoff runs, most notably for his speed. In 10 games with Buffalo this season, Pompey batted .244 with one home run and five RBIs. Most importantly, the center fielder was a perfect 5-for-5 stealing bases in his short time with the Bison. The Blue Jays will want to see what Pompey can offer at the MLB level before ultimately making a decision on the former 16th-round pick.
Ureña is another speedster making his return to the Blue Jays roster. The 22 year old was called up for the final month of 2017 as part of the 40-man roster expansion. The Dominican Republic native batted .206 with one home run in 21 games. Ureña battled injuries coming out of Spring Training and played just one game with Buffalo this season, going 1-for-4 with an RBI. However, with the infield depth stretched this with Steve Pearce‘s injury and Justin Smoak on paternity leave, Ureña was the lone choice on the Blue Jays 40-man roster that could come up and provide some depth. He will likely be returned to Buffalo once Smoak rejoins the team.
The new face for Blue Jays fans is Petricka. The 30-year-old righthander signed a minor-league deal with Toronto on Feb. 8 after a rough 2017 campaign with the White Sox. Petricka spent five seasons with Chicago as a ground-ball specialist, making 129 appearances over 2014-15 before elbow injuries limited his effectiveness. Petricka didn’t make his debut with Buffalo until late April while dealing with a minor elbow issue, but the former 2nd-round pick was dominant, allowing just one run over eight innings of work with a 1.125 WHIP. The Minnesota native will likely serve in low-leverage spots while John Axford takes a more prominent role in the pen following the demotion of Danny Barnes.
Heading the other way down the QEW is Smith Jr., who was impressive in the latter half of Thursday’s doubleheader. The lefty bat was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the 13-4 loss, but with Toronto’s outfield set, he’ll head to Buffalo for more regular playing time.
Also heading down is Ramirez, who pitched two innings in the second half of the twin bill, and surrendered one run on one hit while walking four batters. The control has been an issue for Ramirez this season, and he will move down to AA to continue working on reining in his fastball.
Santos had his contract purchased during the break in Thursday’s doubleheader to serve as a long-relief sacrificial lamb if needed. The 27 year old came into play, but he did not perform well. Santos allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings of work, the major figure in Cleveland’s seven-run fifth inning that salted away the game. The Dominican Republic native gave up five hits and walked three, contributing to a Glenn Sparkman-esque 32.40 ERA and 4.8 WHIP. Santos is expected to clear waivers and rejoin Buffalo.
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Andrews has been immersed in sports from a young age, since they could read Jr. Jays comics that filtered into the backwoods of Northern Nova Scotia. The Canadian has been blogging about sports since high school, writing on FOX Sports.com’s blogs as well on the Tailpipe Sports blog. The 20-something has been with Jays From the Couch since its humble beginnings, and continues to contribute while forging a career in the sports journalism industry. Andrews brings a discerning eye, a smoking keyboard, and a brain that made Jeopardy! briefly rethink letting Canadians onto their program.