After last night's game Jeremy Jeffress was designated for assignment and it was reported that Chad Jenkins would be coming to Toronto to take his place...but apparently that isn't the case. Right-handed pitcher Marcus Walden has been added to the 40-man and will be the reliever that fills the void left by the departing Jeffress. Walden will be available to pitch in the game this afternoon if stuff really starts to go downhill.
#bluejays announce they've purchased contract of RHP Marcus Walden as the corresponding roster move for Jeffress. So it's him not Jenkins.— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) April 5, 2014
Before we get to 'why', we'll answer the 'who' part of the equation. Marcus Walden is a 25-year-old right handed pitcher who was drafted in the ninth round of the 2007 draft and has been a dependable piece of the Blue Jays farm system. In 2013 he started 26 games in New Hampshire and ended up with an ERA of 3.71 with peripherals that don't exactly excite you (4.9 K/9). He has appeared in one inning in Buffalo so far this year allowing a hit, but no runs.
Now to the 'why', which isn't exactly clear at the moment. Walden has been an okay piece of the Blue Jays organization, but not exactly someone who was fast tracked through the system due to any sort of dominance. He's obviously not on the the 40-man so that brings up an issue that wouldn't need to be addressed if Chad Jenkins was actually the player being called up.
I can't think of too many situations where this would make sense, since there's a few guys in Buffalo ahead of Walden that you would think would get the call before him like Neil Wagner or the aforementioned Jenkins.
Well now we have an explanation on why it had to be a player who wasn't on the 40-man roster:
Everyone post your best guess at why this move happened and we'll roll with the most plausible one. My theory is that Walden has inside information that the Blue Jays have to pay for their own bus rides by passing a hat around the bus and the team is afraid this information will be leaked out.
Minor Leaguer offers his own random guess:
Maybe the Jays are ready to pull the plug on Dustin McGowan and want Marcus Walden to start. Shrug.— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) April 5, 2014
Likely should had kept Jeffress until the 10th.