The Jays should have their closer on Opening Day.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, righty Casey Janssen made it through a one-inning appearance in a minor league game on Wednesday without experiencing any discomfort in his surgically-repaired shoulder. He has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday against the Red Sox and he should be a go for the start of the regular season if everything goes well from here on out.
Janssen registered an excellent 2.54 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 67/11 K/BB ratio across 63 2/3 innings last summer. The 31-year-old has a 3.60 career ERA and his K/9 has been on the rise for six consecutive seasons.
If something goes wrong for Janssen over these next 12 days, Sergio Santos will act as closer.
NEW YORK (AP) Five minor league pitchers have been suspended for drug violations.
The commissioner’s office announced the penalties Tuesday.
Three of the players are part of the Toronto system. Right-hander Juan Jimenez and left-hander Naswell Paulino were each suspended for 72 games, and righty Jol Concepcion was banned for 60 games. Jimenez, Paulino and Concepcion tested for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.
Jimenez and Paulino are on the roster for the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, and Concepcion is on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.
Kansas City minor leaguer Travis Eckert and free-agent lefty Kevin Duchene each tested positive for a drug of abuse. Eckert was suspended for 50 games following a second positive test, and Duchene received a 100-game penalty following a third positive test.
Eckert is on the roster for Single-A Lexington of the South Atlantic League.
There have been 79 suspensions under the minor league drug program this year and five under the major league program.