Canadian lefty Jeff Francis has been added to the Blue Jays' 40-man roster and called up to the big club to help a tired bullpen and correspondingly, Colt Hynes was sent down to Buffalo, falling victim to his remaining options.
Francis, 34, signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays early last offseason and was assigned to the Buffalo Bisons out of spring training. In his only start in triple-A this season, Francis tossed five innings of two-hit ball against the Pawtucket Red Sox, walking two and striking out five, delivering a constant stream of strikes. In 2014, Francis played in the big leagus with the Reds, A's, and Yankees. In his final outing, in the big leagues, he yielded a go-ahead three-run home run to Dan Johnson and the Blue Jays, recording the loss.
The Blue Jays, down to two long relievers after Todd Redmond was designated for assignment, needed someone who could provide innings out of the bullpen for Sunday's game in support of starter Daniel Norris. Marco Estrada last worked on Thursday, throwing 43 pitches over three innings, while Liam Hendriks has tossed on back-to-back games and appears to be transitioning towards a middle relief role.
Colt Hynes, 29, hasn't been horrible but has been allowing a lot of baserunners--eight hits and two walks in three innings of work--in the early going. On Saturday he was called on to face and retire left-handed hitters Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman, but allowed both of them to reach on singles.
The 40-man roster is once again full.
Jeff Francis will be wearing #35.