Blue Jays sign Yorvit Torrealba to minor league contract

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As first hinted by Drew Davison of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram earlier this afternoon, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays have signed veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league contract.

Torrealba batted just .236/.302/.342 with three home runs, 12 RBI and a .643 OPS in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers this season. The 34-year-old backstop was designated for assignment late last month following the acquisition of Geovany Soto and was given his release last week after passing through waivers.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that Torrealba is slated to report to Triple-A New Hampshire on Thursday, where he’ll play four games before joining the Blue Jays next Tuesday in Detroit. He figures to split playing time with the newly-signed Jeff Mathis for now and will likely move to third on the depth chart if J.P. Arencibia is able to return from a fractured right hand at some point in September.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.