The Blue Jays claimed Ty Kelly off of waivers from the Mets yesterday, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Kelly, predominantly a third baseman and left fielder, is set to report to triple-A Buffalo and will provide depth in the outfield after the release of Melvin Upton Jr. Kelly had 71 plate appearances in 2016, his second year at the major league level, in which he had a .241 batting average and .351 OBP.
To make room for Kelly on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have moved Rule 5 Draft pick Glenn Sparkman to the 60-day disabled list.
In divisional news, Gary Sanchez has a “grade 1 strain of muscle” behind his biceps, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He’s expected to miss a month or more with his injury, and, although it’s never uplifting to see a player go down for an extended period of time, it does give the Blue Jays an extended chance to get ahead (or catch up) in the AL East. Sanchez initially injured his arm on an errant swing Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.
The clubhouse at Fenway Park has been fumigated following a spout of flu victims on Boston’s roster. The Red Sox, who were on the road in Detroit yesterday, have a plethora of players currently unavailable with the flu: Mitch Moreland, Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, Hanley Ramirez, and Andrew Benintendi, to name a few. From what’s been reported, it doesn’t look like they fumigated the visitors clubhouse. Good thing the Blue Jays don’t visit Boston until after the All-Star break.
More Red Sox: David Price threw his first bullpen session since he experienced discomfort in his elbow early during spring training. He threw 25 pitches and told the Providence Journal that “it feels really good right now.”
AL East score roundup:
- Yankees 8, Rays 1. After winning three straight against the Blue Jays, the Rays fell majorly in New York. Michael Pineda took a perfect game into the seventh inning, retiring the first 20 batters he faced. This was Pineda’s first victory since August 5th, 2016.
- Tigers 2, Red Sox 1. Suffering from the aforementioned flu, the Red Sox only mustered four hits against Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who pitched seven innings and didn’t allow a run. Chris Sale pitched 7.2 innings for the Red Sox, allowing two runs and striking out 10 with one walk, but took the loss, nonetheless.
- The Orioles had an off day yesterday. They’ll face the Red Sox today at Fenway Park in an un-fumigated clubhouse.
Both Josh Donaldson and Roberto Osuna are expected to be ready for the home opener today, confirming already reported news. Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports that “Osuna will be activated” for the game, making it very clear that Toronto’s coaching staff thinks he’s ready. Donaldson’s status, on the other hand, is more questionable. He “continues to [get] treatment,” tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith, and will be evaluated again tomorrow.
Former Blue Jay Joaquin Benoit has been moved into the closer role with the Philadelphia Phillies, replacing Jeanmar Gomez in that position “for the time being.” Benoit, who appeared in 25 games down the stretch for the Blue Jays last year, signed a one year, $7.5-million deal with the Phillies this offseason after proving his worth in Toronto in 2016. He had a 0.38 ERA and 24 strikeouts compared to nine walks over 23.2 innings with the Blue Jays.
After an off day yesterday, the Blue Jays play the Milwaukee Brewers for the first game of 2017 in Toronto. J.A. Happ gets the start against Wily Peralta of the Brewers. As previously discussed, Roberto Osuna is expected to make his return to Toronto’s roster prior to today’s game, which should provide solid depth in a bullpen that remains extremely taxed after a long and trying series in Tampa.
You can watch the game on Sportsnet and listen to it on Sportsnet 590.
Follow Mark Colley on Instagram and Twitter at @360BlueJayNews and @MarkColley.