Rafael Soriano returns to Dominican Republic, but will be available for Game 1

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Rays’ closer Rafael Soriano had an excused absence from the team’s workout today in order to return to his native Dominican Republic to attend to a “personal matter.”

According to Topkin, Soriano is scheduled to return from the Dominican tonight via a private plane, so it will have no impact on his availability for Game 1 against the Rangers tomorrow afternoon.

It’s too bad. I was actually hoping for a dramatic entrance right before the start of tomorrow’s game, similar to Steve Nebraska in “The Scout.” By the way, it’s confirmed. I miss real baseball games.

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.