And then there was one.
Earlier this season--this month--the Blue Jays briefly carried five Canadians on their active roster. With the news that reliever Jeff Francis was designated for assignment, Russell Martin is the only one left to head home to celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria. Todd Redmond, an American, will take Francis's place on the roster and the bullpen after having his contract selected from triple-A Buffalo.
#BlueJays designate Jeff Francis for assignment, select contract of Todd Redmond for assignment.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) May 18, 2015
The loss of four Canadians is just a symptom of the Blue Jays' inability to maintain stability on their roster, specifically their relief corps. The Jays have already used 11 different relievers in May and we have just passed the halfway point of the month. Nine teams have used fewer than 11 all season.
Francis had poor results in his stint with the Blue Jays, having given up a run in five of his eight starts. Batters have a BABIP in the .400's against him, and both his FIP and xFIP are three runs below his ERA, but ultimately he wasn't able to provide the shutdown innings demanded of a middle reliever. He seems to have struggled the most in high-leverage situations, but in a patchwork bullpen like the one the Jays have, there is no luxury to shelter any reliever. I still believe Francis can be a decent lefty arm out of the pen (in the right situations) but at the same time I don't think any other team will put in a claim for him.
Redmond, who celebrated 30th birthday on Sunday, received a pretty good gift--a big fat raise--from the Jays by being called up. He was on the Opening Day roster but was dispatched after two games in which he gave up eight earned runs total in four innings pitched. He showed last season that he could be a serviceable long reliever so I wouldn't put too much weight on the 16.62 ERA he has next to his name.
After his outright, he started in a game for the Bisons before returning to the bullpen, where he had become Miguel Castro's "piggyback" partner the last couple of outings. He has a 4.50 ERA through 14 innings, in which he struck out 13 while walking just two.