Luis Ayala opted out of his minor-league deal with the Orioles last week and was reportedly headed to pitch in the Mexican League, but now Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors says the 35-year-old reliever will instead sign a new minor-league contract with the Blue Jays.
Ayala posted a nice-looking 2.58 ERA in 164 innings from 2011-2013, but a poor strikeout rate and mediocre raw stuff kept teams from trusting him. He’s bounced around a lot and has recently been passed over for call-ups back to the majors, but as far as organizational depth goes he’s a nice pickup for Toronto.
He’ll head to Triple-A for now, perhaps with another opt-out clause looming.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.