Jose Reyes will rejoin the Blue Jays on Thursday

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Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he will activate shortstop Jose Reyes from the disabled list on Thursday, per Mike Harrington. Reyes, absent since suffering a sprained left ankle on April 12, will wind up his rehab with Triple-A Buffalo, then head to Double-A New Hampshire before rejoining his teammates on Thursday to play the Red Sox.

Reyes went on the DL hitting .395 with five stolen bases in 43 trips to the plate. In his place, the Jays have used Munenori Kawasaki (.233) and Maicer Izturis at shortstop (.228). With a 13-5 victory over the Orioles this afternoon, they moved their winning streak to 11 games and are now just five games out of first place in the AL East.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.