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Thursday Bantering: Ross Atkins “focused on adding and winning”

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Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Blue Jays don’t plan on being sellers at the trade deadline, Ross Atkins told Sportsnet. Here’s the full quote, courtesy of Arash Madani:

This quote can easily be blown out of context. Atkins clearly states that the decision to be a buyer or seller depends on how the team is playing at the trade deadline (duh), so most of this quote can be set aside as eye wash.

Really, the only interesting part of this tweet is, “We’ve absolutely remained focused on adding and winning.”


The Blue Jays placed Anthony Alford on the disabled list with a left hamate (known in English as wrist) fracture. In a corresponding move, Dwight Smith Jr. was, once again, recalled from triple-A Buffalo.

The most obvious set back from Alford’s injury is in his development. Prior to his major-league stint, Alford had never reached a level higher than double-A New Hampshire, and as one of Toronto’s top prospects, his health is vital to the future success of the franchise.

On the other hand (not the left, because the wrist is broken), Smith is busy gaining air miles and car mileage, wearing out the road/air between Buffalo and wherever the Blue Jays end up playing. Per Arash Madani, Smith got word of his promotion at midnight and took an 8:25 AM flight to Milwaukee. Less than an hour after the game, he was optioned.

Playing with the Blue Jays at the major-league level is too hazardous for some prospect’s health, apparently.

The Blue Jays will announce a corresponding move prior to Friday’s 7:07 ET game against the Texas Rangers. As both Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson are expected back this weekend, one can expect the move was to clear room on the roster for either of the all-stars.


David Price, in a rehab outing yesterday, was roughed up for six runs (three earned) over just 3.2 innings. He threw 89 pitches. Pitching in triple-A, yesterday’s start was planned to be Price’s last before his return to the major leagues, but even that is now in doubt.

Price didn’t speak to the media after the game. Per Kyle DaLuz of WEEI, Price told a member of the team’s public relations department, “No, I’m out of here.”


Jacoby Ellsbury left last night’s Yankees game with a concussion and neck sprain after crashing into an outfield wall in the first inning. He was later placed on the seven-day disabled list for the same reason.

As Joel Sherman notes, the Yankees have plenty of minor-league alternatives. Both Dustin Flower and Clint Frazier are “surging at AAA, more and more forcing Yankees to think about them.”


The Blue Jays beat the Brewers 8-4 yesterday, extending their win streak to three games and heading back home with a 4-3 road trip. Marcus Stroman started the game, and he had only allowed one run into the sixth inning. Similar to Tuesday’s start from Joe Biagini, Stroman proceeded to allow three more earned runs on a home run.

Ryan Goins had his first career grand slam in the winning effort, while Devon Travis (nine game hit streak), Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar all homered. Stroman struck out three times in his three at-bats.

Toronto has an off-day today, but tomorrow, they’ll play the Texas Rangers back at the Rogers Centre. This should be fun.


Last but not least, some more injury news: Minor-league infielder Emilio Guerrero, currently playing with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, left the game “very slowly” with a trainer, favoring his right leg. Things can not get any worse for this club.

Just to demonstrate, here’s a handy-dandy graphic to show how many players have had stints on the disabled list this season.


Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkColley.