When it comes to demoting players to Triple-A sometimes having a minor-league option remaining takes precedence over everything else and Casey Janssen learned that the hard way today, as the Blue Jays sent him to Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Octavio Dotel’s return from the disabled list.
Janssen certainly isn’t deserving of the demotion, as he’s a 29-year-old veteran who posted a 3.67 ERA and 63/21 K/BB ratio in 69 innings last season and has a career ERA of 3.10 in 146 relief outings.
However, with Dotel recovered from his hamstring injury Janssen finds himself the odd man out in Toronto’s deep, veteran-filled bullpen. He’ll be back soon enough, but it’s no doubt a frustrating situation for a setup-caliber reliever earning $1.1 million. He has no business being in the minors at age 29.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.