Toronto wanted to subtract a pitcher and add a position player, so the Blue Jays have called up infielder Ryan Goins from Triple-A and designated for assignment reliever Todd Redmond.
Redmond has been a mess this season, allowing eight runs in four innings, but the 30-year-old right-hander posted a 3.79 ERA and 136/50 K/BB ratio in 152 innings during the previous two seasons.
Assuming he’s healthy Redmond should draw some interest from teams looking to add middle relief help.
Goins is a light-hitting 27-year-old utility man who’s hit .213 with a .531 OPS in 101 games for the Blue Jays and his numbers at Triple-A aren’t much better.
The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Not entirely sure how this differs from the Marvin Miller Award, the nominees for which we announced yesterday, but just go with it.
Carlos Beltran won it last year. The 2014 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.
There’s a weird fan vote aspect to this. You go to the website and you can vote for one of the nominees. The winner of the fan vote basically gets a one vote head start, with that vote added in to votes cast by Bud Selig, Vera Clemente and a number of former players and some media people.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves – Craig Kimbrel
Baltimore Orioles – Nick Markakis
Boston Red Sox – Craig Breslow
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago White Sox – Paul Konerko
Cincinnati Reds – Skip Schumaker
Cleveland Indians – Nick Swisher
Colorado Rockies – Michael Cuddyer
Detroit Tigers – Justin Verlander
Houston Astros – Jason Castro
Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – C.J. Wilson
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
Miami Marlins – Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun
Minnesota Twins – Glen Perkins
New York Mets – David Wright
New York Yankees – CC Sabathia
Oakland Athletics – Jed Lowrie
Philadelphia Phillies – Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates – Charlie Morton
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Motte
San Diego Padres – Ian Kennedy
San Francisco Giants – Sergio Romo
Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre
Toronto Blue Jays – Todd Redmond
Washington Nationals – Ian Desmond
If the Blue Jays wind up winning the AL East in September, mark down June 20 as a game to remember. Starter Liam Hendriks and reliever Todd Redmond combined forces to allow eight runs in the second inning to the Reds, bookended by two-run home runs to Devin Mesoraco and Jay Bruce.
The Jays answered immediately, as Edwin Encarnacion blasted his 22nd home run in the top of the third, a three-run blast to make it 8-3. In the seventh, following a solo home run by Brett Lawrie and a two-run homer by Juan Francisco, the Jays were within one run at 9-8. Dioner Navarro doubled in the tying run in the eighth inning, but the Jays weren’t even close to done.
In the top of the ninth, facing Aroldis Chapman, the Jays strung together two walks and two hits to go up 11-9. With Encarnacion batting, Sam LeCure relieved Chapman, but he couldn’t get the job done, either. Encarnacion blasted another three-run home run — his second of the game and 23rd of the season — to make it 14-9.
To put in perspective how improbable the comeback was, FanGraphs gave the Jays a 1.6 percent chance to win after the bottom of the second. It fell to a game-low 1.1 percent after Jose Reyes grounded out in the top of the third inning for the second out. Following Encarnacion’s home run in the ninth, they were 99.5 percent to win. The graph at FanGraphs is nuts.
Dustin McGowan made for a interesting comeback story after earning a spot in the Blue Jays’ rotation out of spring training, but the club has decided to move him back to the bullpen after eight starts.
It’s probably for the best. McGowan, who has dealt with all sorts of injuries in recent years, allowed four runs in four innings against the Indians last night and owns a 5.08 ERA and 25/17 K/BB ratio over 39 innings this season. While the 32-year-old right-hander has already thrown his most innings in the majors since 2008, he averaged fewer than five innings per start. He told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that he knew a change was likely necessary after he had increased difficulty recovering between starts.
“After the Pittsburgh start (May 4), I just noticed it was getting more and more sore after every start,”he said. “When I started noticing stuff out of the normal, I knew it was time to probably say something to them about it. … I just didn’t want it to lead to something worse.”
McGowan will now return to the bullpen, where he posted a 2.45 ERA in 25 appearances last season. The Blue Jays have yet to decide who to replace him in the rotation, but top prospect Marcus Stroman and Todd Redmond are the most likely options.
With J.A. Happ struggling and reportedly dealing with back issues, the number of openings in the Toronto rotation has increased from one to two. According to MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, Drew Hutchinson is now looking like a good bet for one of those spots, with Happ, 2012 first-round pick Marcus Stroman, Todd Redmond and Esmil Rogers in the mix for the other.
Stroman’s inclusion would be quite the surprise, even after his excellent performance last season in Double-A (9-5, 3.30 ERA, 129/27 K/BB in 111 2/3 innings) quieted those who doubted he’d make it as a starter. However, GM Alex Anthopoulos said service time won’t be an issue delaying his arrival and that he’s prepared to pick the best five.
Hutchinson likewise figured to open the season in the minors after returning from Tommy John surgery late last year, but he’s turned some heads with his performance this spring.
“He’s off to a great start, he’s definitely opened some eyes, he’s a strong candidate to make the rotation but he’s got to make it. But I love what I see,” Anthopoulos said.
Given the Jays’ struggles the last couple of years, Anthopoulos probably can’t afford to be particularly concerned with delaying arbitration and free agency eligibility with his prospects. If Stroman looks like one of the five best starters, it’s worth carrying him. After all, Anthopoulos isn’t likely to be around for the bill coming due unless the team starts to turn it around.