Melvin Upton, Jr. has signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants, Jon Heyman reports. Earlier yesterday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted that Upton would sign with a National League team before the day was done. The Giants didn’t initially have interest in Upton, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBS Sports Bay Area, but poor performance from their starting left fielder, Jarrett Parker, may have changed their mind.
Melvin Upton has minors deal with SFGiants— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 8, 2017
Despite releasing Upton, the Blue Jays are still on the hook for the $1 million he was set to be paid in 2017. If Upton makes the major league team, the Giants will only have to pay Upton the major league minimum of $535,000.
The Blue Jays recalled Casey Lawrence and optioned Dominic Leone to triple-A Buffalo yesterday, following Friday’s game where Francisco Liriano completed just one third of an inning. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays also moved Bo Schultz to the 60-day disabled list. Lawrence was initially slated to pitch in the Buffalo Bisons season opener yesterday, but ended up pitching in the 11 inning of yesterday’s Blue Jay game.
The countdown until his call-up is on: Rowdy Tellez homered twice with the triple-A Bisons in yesterday’s opener. The first, to left-center field, gave the Bisons an early lead. His second, coming in just his second triple-A at bat, was to right field, exemplifying his power to both fields. You can watch the home runs here and here.
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Kendall Graveman, the former Blue Jay traded to the Oakland Athletics in the Josh Donaldson deal, kept a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Rangers last night. All in all, Graveman allowed just two hits in 7.0 innings pitched, striking out five and walking one. Graveman started on Opening Day for the Athletics in place of the injured Sonny Gray.
The Blue Jays lost 3-2 in extra innings last night, giving them a 1-4 record and tying them for the worst five-game start in franchise history. Aaron Sanchez and Chris Archer, in their respective starts for the Rays and Jays, were phenomenal. Joe Biagini, in the eighth inning, gave up Toronto’s one run lead, which sent the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Casey Lawrence, making his major league debut, was given the task of getting two outs with the bases loaded (done with two intentional walks, mind you). After striking out Evan Longoria, Lawrence walked Brad Miller to lose the game.
Today, Toronto will finish up their four game series with Tampa Bay at 1:10 ET. Marco Estrada gets the nod in his second start of the season while Jake Odorizzi, the righty, will start for the Rays. The game will be on Sportsnet and Sportsnet 590.
Follow Mark Colley on Instagram and Twitter at @360BlueJayNews and @MarkColley.