Sportsnet's Shi Davidi just tweeted that the Toronto Blue Jays have designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment, and have added veteran right-handed pitcher Ramon Ortiz to the roster.
#BlueJays select contract of RHP Ramon Ortiz, designated OF Caper Wells for assignment.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) April 15, 2013
Ortiz, 40, hails from the Dominican Republic and first broke into the major leagues as a 26-year old with the Angels back in 1999. He pitched six seasons with the Angels, and has also pitched with the Reds, Nationals, Twins, Rockies, Dodgers, and most recently the Cubs back in 2011. Ortiz started for the Empire State Yankees in 2012, going 13-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 27 starts, recording a 5.5 K's per 9. He started a single game down with the Buffalo Bisons this season, going 5 innings giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, but struck out 7. He was slated to start for the Bisons on Wednesday. The Blue Jays are returning to an eight-man bullpen with the addition of Ortiz.
Wells, 28, was claimed by the Blue Jays on April 10 and joined the team in Kansas City on April 12. He pulled off his best Brian Jeroloman impression and did not appear in a single game with the Blue Jays even though he was in the dugout for the three-game series.
My only explanation for this move is that the Blue Jays may be in the process of finishing a trade involving the former Mariner for some help in the infield after Jose Reyes' injury. If the front office was close to a trade, they wouldn't be playing Wells anyway in case something happens, so they DFA him to get a usable part onto the roster until the trade is completed. I cannot think of another explanation otherwise.
Incidentally, Jose Bautista was not in the posted starting lineup today. Recall that he is coming back from a wrist injury from last season as well as an ankle injury from earlier this season. It is unknown whether or not his absence from the lineup is tied to the roster move made today. Perhaps Bautista's discomfort hastened Alex Anthopoulos' search for infield depth.
Oh well, as they say, all's well that ends Wells, right?
Shi Davidi and John Lott spoke with John Gibbons, who reported that Bautista is suffering from back pain:
Back spasms for Bautista. More details to come later.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) April 15, 2013
Gibbons says Bautista's "back flared up."— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) April 15, 2013
A few tidbits from the Blue Jays beat reporters:
- Alex Anthopoulos says that Blue Jays don't have a rest day for a while (next is April 29) so they needed a "just in case" long relief arm in Ramon Ortiz, in case Mark Buehrle has a bad outing. I don't know why Buehrle was singled out.
- Ortiz will be shipped out once Brett Lawrie returns in the "next couple of days." Lawrie will continue to play 2B with the Dunedin Blue Jays tonight, but will be back to 3B when he returns to Toronto except for some 2B action "once a week if needed."
- Jose Bautista is expected to play tomorrow. While it is unknown whether play at 3B was the cause of Bautista's back spasms, John Gibbons "sounded skeptical" when asked whether that would continue.
- Danny Knobler reported earlier this afternoon that Jose Reyes received good news from his doctors that he could be back within eight weeks, but Gibbons said that he didn't know the timetable had changed. The club still expect Reyes' down time to be three months because Reyes will have to be off his foot for four weeks, thus four weeks is an "unlikely time frame" to get back in game action.
- Anthopoulos mentioned the team believes shortstop defense is a priority, so he will stick with the Maicer Izturis and Munenori Kawasaki combo for now. Asking price is high for middle infield help, so Anthopoulos doesn't foresee any deals happening. So much for my Casper Wells-is-being-traded theory.
- Also, there are no plans to promote Anthony Gose until he "masters" AAA.
I would like to take this chance to ask all the readers to keep thoughts on the victims of the explosion at the Boston Marathon.