Another day, another new closer in MLB.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin announced late Saturday night that veteran lefty Brian Fuentes will take over as the team’s new ninth-inning man.
Grant Balfour, who is sporting a 4.41 ERA and 11/6 K/BB ratio through 16 1/3 innings this season, has been demoted back to his old setup role.
“It’s where I feel most comfortable, and I believe I can get the job done,” Fuentes told reporters on Saturday after being informed of Melvin’s decision. “It’s good to know he has that confidence in me.”
The 36-year-old southpaw has posted a 3.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 12/2 K/BB ratio in 14 frames this year.
The Buffalo Blue Jays? Is that a thing? Maybe.
The Toronto Blue Jays are, officially, set to begin their season at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 29. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, however, reports that they are looking at alternatives:
Multiple sources confirm to The Buffalo News that the Bisons’ parent club has finally reached out to Rich Baseball Operations in the last couple of days to examine the possibility of Toronto’s home schedule being played in Buffalo this summer.
This report of a potential for the Buffalo Blue Jays to make their debut comes a couple of days after the strict restrictions on movement for Jays players — they are reportedly required to stick to the Rogers Centre and the connecting hotel or face harsh punishment — met with at least some backlash. The restrictions are inevitable, however, given that Canada is requiring a 14-day quarantine for people traveling into the country. Since the Jays will be playing all road games in the United States, there is little choice for them but to be restricted to their hotel and the ballpark after arriving back in the country after playing games in the states.
As Harrington notes, Buffalo is not an ideal option given the less-than-major-league-level lighting and clubhouse space present in the Triple-A park, so it would not be ideal. Like everyone else these days, however, the Buffalo Blue Jays — er, I’m sorry, the Toronto Blue Jays — have little choice but to scramble.