What a lot of people were expecting to be the case has come to fruition with Daniel Norris being sent to Buffalo to work out his struggles, while Andrew Albers comes up to take his place. Since the 40-man roster was full, Maicer Izturis was moved to the 60-day disabled list to continue recovering from his groin injury which is beginning to look a lot worse than it was originally thought to be. Righty Marco Estrada will slot into Norris' rotation spot for at least one start, likely coming at home against New York next series.
The Blue Jays confirmed the news that seemed like all but a formality after the mess that was Norris' start last night against Cleveland:
The @BlueJays have optioned LHP Daniel Norris to @BuffaloBisons and have selected the contract of LHP Andrew Albers from Buffalo.— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 1, 2015
The newly turned 22-year-old lefty in Daniel Norris had struggled with control issues in his five starts this season, walking 12 batters in 23.1 innings. He flashed impressive stuff at times but it was so inconsistent that Russell Martin looked to be completely lost trying to block pitches that were landing five feet in front of the plate. The Jays could have put him on the disabled list with a made-up injury, but that of course would have lost Norris for 15 days instead of 10. Despite looking lost at times, Norris only had an ERA of 3.86, but anyone who watched a few innings of him pitching knew there was some serious issues.
Marco Estrada will take Norris' place in the rotation for at least one start after starting the season fairly strong out of the bullpen. The former Brewers pitcher has allowed just one earned run in 10.2 innings and will get a chance to stake a claim for a rotation spot that doesn't have much of a fierce competition for it at the current moment. Norris will likely be down in Buffalo for a few weeks to work out his kinks and/or dead arm phase and may lose his spot with the big league squad in the meantime.
Marco Estrada takes over in #BlueJays rotation from Daniel Norris. Team wants him to regain spring form.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) May 1, 2015
On the flip side, Andrew Albers will make the Blue Jays roster 20% Canadian which may be the new market inefficiency (or maybe not). It'd be unique if a game which had Michael Saunders, Dalton Pompey, and Russell Martin starting also featured Jeff Francis and Albers out of the bullpen as there'd be all sorts of records broken. Albers' only time in the majors came in 2013 with the Minnesota Twins for a handful of innings and the Saskatchewan native will be looking to make some sort of impact out of the 'pen so he can stick around with the big league squad for a few weeks. In Buffalo this season he has started four games and sits at an ERA of 3.09 with a much higher FIP of 4.15. He'll likely just provide depth in the bullpen for now, although a spot start certainly isn't out of the question if all the other options fail.
Lastly, Maicer Izturis is now out until at least the early days of June with his groin injury after going down in late March. With Devon Travis playing so well at second base and Ryan Goins looking like a solid infield replacement, Izturis' time in Toronto is likely very much close to over anyway. Trading Dioner Navarro and Maicer Izturis for a broken bat wouldn't even be that bad of a deal at this point.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Challenge accepted.</p>— Daniel Norris (@DanielNorris18) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielNorris18/status/594240663614427137">May 1, 2015</a></blockquote>
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