Jays demote Travis Snider to make room for Rajai Davis

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Apparently, Corey Patterson is a keeper.

The Jays announced after Thursday’s win over the Rangers that they’ve optioned 23-year-old Travis Snider to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Utilityman Chris Woodward was sent outright to the same club.  Rajai Davis is expected to come off the DL and reclaim his spot in center field prior to Friday’s game.

Snider was demoted despite a current five-game hitting streak that had raised his average from .159 to .184. Of course, it was about as weak as hitting streaks get, considering he didn’t have a two-hit game or an extra-base hit during the span. The Jays probably would have been more patient with him if not for the 23 strikeouts in 87 at-bats.

Overall, Snider, who debuted with the Jays as a 20-year-old in 2008, has hit .246/.313/.423 in 699 at-bats as a major leaguer. He’s shown very impressive power at times — he his six homers last September alone — but he’s had big issues making contact (203 strikeouts), and since he’s limited defensively, he’s not an asset while hitting .250, much less .180.

With Snider out of the mix, the Jays will go with Patterson and Juan Rivera in left field for now. Snider should get another chance in a month or so, but if this is a make-or-break year for him in Toronto, it’s certainly off to a rough start.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.