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Saturday Bantering: Joe Smith, JP Howell rehab in Buffalo

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Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

J.P. Howell and Joe Smith, injured Blue Jay relief pitchers, began their rehab assignment with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons last night.

Smith, who could join the Blue Jays’ roster as early as this weekend, pitched one scoreless inning in which he allowed a hit and struck out one. Howell, with 22 pitches, threw 0.2 innings and gave up one earned run on three hits and one walk.

In addition to Howell and Smith, Dalton Pompey is currently rehabbing with the Bisons.

The Red Sox promoted top prospect Rafael Devers to triple-A yesterday morning, just days after appearing in the double-A All-Star game in New Hampshire and the Futures Game in Miami. With Boston’s double-A team, the Portland Sea Dogs, he’s hit .300 with an OBP of .369. He’s hit a team-leading 18 home runs.

Prior to designating Pablo Sandoval for assignment yesterday, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says that he shopped Sandoval to other teams to no avail. Sandoval, with $49.5 million left on his contract, has the second largest amount of “dead money” for a contract in baseball history. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Starting off the second half on a positive note, the Blue Jays defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-2 at Comerica Park last night. Aaron Sanchez pitched six innings and allowed just one unearned run. He walked two and struck out four. Toronto collected 10 total walks, including a career-high three for Kevin Pillar. Both Steve Pearce and Jose Bautista hit home runs in the winning effort.

Today, Toronto will play their second of three games in Detroit at 6:10 ET. Francisco Liriano, who’s faced the Tigers more than any other team in his career, will start for Toronto. In his last outing, he gave up three earned runs in six innings pitched (one walk, four strikeouts). Michael Fulmer, with a 3.19 ERA, is on the mound for the Tigers. You can watch the game on Sportsnet and TVA Sports or listen to it on Sportsnet 590.

Other news:

  • Johnny Cueto said yesterday that the baseballs are “probably” different this year after getting blisters on two fingers and a thumb. Prior to this season, Cueto had never had a blister in his career.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hired Magnus to represent him yesterday, a change that... really doesn’t mean anything to me.
  • And then there’s this. A contest to win a trip to the World Series OR a meet-and-greet with J.A. Happ. To enter, buy milk.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkColley.