Blue Jays sign Jeff Francis to a minor league deal

1 Comment

The Blue Jays have signed veteran pitcher Jeff Francis to a minor league deal, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star reports. The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

Francis, who turns 34 in January, was well-traveled in 2014, spending time with the Reds, Athletics, and Yankees, though he only accrued 20 innings in the majors. He finished with an aggregate 5.85 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB ratio. At Triple-A Louisville with the Reds, Francis compiled a 3.33 ERA with a 45/12 K/BB ratio in 48 2/3 innings.

Francis will serve as starting pitching depth for the Blue Jays, likely starting the season with Triple-A Buffalo.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.