We had hoped that it wouldn't happen, but it did. Neil Wagner made a visit to Dr. James Andrews, the Tommy John surgery expert, and was prescribed with three weeks' rest, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith. If you recall, Wagner exited from a Buffalo Bisons game on June 1 after launching a pitch to the backstop which allowed a runner to score from third. He was immediately sent down to Florida for evaluations for his "forearm tightness", which was later upgraded to "forearm strain," definitely symptoms that can lead to Tommy John surgery.
Former All-Star Ricky Romero continues to be on the Bisons' disabled list with a right calf injury, but of course, the Bisons received a boost in their starting rotation with the promotion of Aaron Sanchez from double-A on Thursday morning.
The Blue Jays organization lost two Commonwealthers this week: Canadian Shawn Hill was traded to the White Sox organization and Australian Ryan Rowland-Smith was released.
Hill, a 33-year-old from Mississauga, last pitched in the majors with the 2012 Blue Jays, throwing a clean three-inning relief outing. He had signed a minor league contract with the Jays this spring, and has been splitting the season between double- and triple-A. He was demoted to New Hampshire after walking five in 2.2 innings of relief, and had a poor start on Friday with the Fisher Cats. However, the White Sox were interested enough to send the Blue Jays a bit of cash in exchange for the rights to Hill. He has been assigned to the triple-A Charlotte Knights.
Rowland-Smith, 31, signed as a minor-league free agent with the Diamondbacks and was placed on the 25-man roster to start the season, joining the club in their trip to Sydney. He appeared in just over seven big league innings and recorded a 4.91 ERA before he was designated for assignment on April 18. He elected free agency instead of accepting an outright, and signed a minor league contract with Toronto a few days later, with a June 1 opt-out if he could land a major league job elsewhere. Having getting limited innings in Buffalo, the opt-out date came-and-went, and he found himself released a half-month later.
The Aussie, who has an awesome Twitter handle (@hyphen18) was not exactly happy with his dismissal (well, why would anyone?):
@halladayfan32 thanks bro I hung a slider and gave up a three run bomb Got me a plane ticket— Ryan Rowland-Smith (@hyphen18) June 12, 2014
The home run refers to a Tyler Collins shot against him on June 6. He now regrets electing free agency:
@NNNNate DFA'd-elected free agency(idiot)-signed with Toronto— Ryan Rowland-Smith (@hyphen18) June 12, 2014
@NNNNate unfortunately not Wish I never left— Ryan Rowland-Smith (@hyphen18) June 12, 2014
Another farmhand, 22-year-old infielder Kellen Sweeney, was also released yesterday by the Blue Jays. He was Toronto's second-round draft pick in 2010. His struggled at the plate in the higher levels, recording a 24% strikeout rate in Lansing last season, hitting just .185/.269/.284. Sweeney had spent most of 2014 on the disabled list, and was only activated in mid-May. He saw limited action in advanced-A Dunedin and had a slow start to the season, hitless in his first four games. However, he had been riding a four-game hit streak prior to his release.
Starter Radhames Liz demoted back to New Hampshire after two lackluster starts in Buffalo to replace Sanchez's spot in the rotation.
After the Florida State League All-Star Game on June 14, we likely will see former Dunedin Blue Jays be promoted to New Hampshire. On the rotation side, there is 24-year-old Taylor Cole and 21-year old Daniel Norris, both of whom have been fantastic for the D-Jays this season.
Closer Arik Sikula, 25, may also be due for a call-up. Forgot he was already up in New Hampshire (thanks, @StewartRogers).
Thanks to e&n4e for mentioning it in the comments: the Blue Jays have acquired Adron Chambers from the Houston Astros for Alejandro Solarte and Will Dupont according to Astros.com's Brian McTaggart.
Excuse me for not knowing Adron Chambers is but here are some facts I found from a Google-type search:
- He is 27 and from Pensacola.
- He is an outfielder.
- He has had 99 MLB plate appearances over three seasons with the Cardinals, including in 2011, so he has a World Series ring.
- He once posted a picture of his finger injury after dislocating it on Opening Day this year with triple-A Oklahoma City sliding into second base. DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE THAT PICTURE. DO NOT BLAME ME OR BLUEBIRD BANTER OR SB NATION IF YOU CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE HIS SCREWED UP FINGER AND THROW UP ON YOUR COMPUTER. PARENTS, DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN TO CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE THE PICTURE OF HIS GRUESOME FINGER.
- Chambers returned to the lineup on May 11 and has been playing every day for the RedHawks, hitting .281/.356/.416 with two homers in 102 plate appearances (14% K, 10% BB). Oklahoma plays in the more neutral former-American Association part of the Pacific Coast League, so only three of his 25 games this year have been played in the traditional hitter-friendly Pacific Division parks.
Our friends at Crawfish Boxes have profiled the pieces going to the Astros, so I won't.
As expected, Colby Rasmus will start his rehab with the Bisons tonight in Toledo.
UPDATE 3: MOAR MOVES!!!
Aaron Sanchez's Fisher Cats teammate Melky Mesa (full name Melquisedec Mesa), who was acquired from the Royals in a trade in May, was also promoted to the Bisons to join their outfield corps.
Matt Tuiasosopo was dealt to the Charlotte Knights (on a separate transaction from Shawn Hill) for cash. Tuiasosopo was a late-spring waiver claim from the Diamondbacks and he was successfully outrighted before the start of the season. He has struggled quite a bit at the plate with the Bisons, hitting just .206/.289/.271 with the Herd.
Along with Liz, outfielder Kenny Wilson and reliever Gregory Infante were demoted to New Hampshire.
Summary of Moves
|In||Adron Chambers (from Astros)|
|Out||Shawn Hill (to White Sox)|
|Matt Tuiasosopo (to White Sox)|
|Ryan Rowland-Smith (released)|
|Kellen Sweeney (released)|
|Alejandro Solarte (to Astros)|
|Will Dupont (to Astros)|
|Up||Darin Mastroianni (AAA --> MLB)|
|Aaron Sanchez (AA --> AAA)|
|Melky Mesa (AA --> AAA)|
|Down||Bobby Korecky (MLB --> AAA)|
|Gregory Infante (AAA --> AA)|
|Kenny Wilson (AAA --> AA)|
|Radhames Liz (AAA --> AA)|
|Seth Conner (A --> ss-A)|