J.A. Happ was one of several odd men out after the Blue Jays acquired R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson via trades with the Mets and Marlins. The 30-year-old lefty is on the outside looking in and the subject of many trade rumors, which has made him unhappy.
Happ has a career 4.19 ERA in 590 career innings, including a 5.08 ERA over the last two seasons with the Astros and Blue Jays. The Jays will decide, if Happ is not traded, whether he is better suited to start the season in the bullpen as a long reliever or with Triple-A Buffalo in the starting rotation.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.