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Joe Biagini expected to start Sunday for Blue Jays

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers
Joe Biagini pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 21, 2017.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After Nick Tepesch was reinstated from the paternity list and optioned to triple-A Buffalo, it became clear on Friday that Joe Biagini would likely be the start for the Blue Jays on Sunday.

Biagini, who was optioned earlier in August in an effort to be stretched out and inserted back into the major-league rotation, was at the Rogers Centre on Friday, throwing a bullpen and long-toss in the outfield.

Another factor contributing to the likelihood of Biagini’s start on Sunday is the fact that another potential spot-starter, T.J. House, pitched an inning in relief against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

The Blue Jays have yet to officially announce a starter for Sunday’s game.

A flurry of moves from injuries, suspensions and signings suddenly changed the landscape of the AL East yesterday, giving the Boston Red Sox a more commanding lead in the division ahead of the second-place New York Yankees.

As part of the fallout of the brawl between the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine received suspensions for four and two games, respectively. The Yankees also activated Starlin Castro off of the 10-day disabled list and optioned utility player Tyler Wade to triple-A.

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Danny Espinosa to a major-league deal, optioning Daniel Robertson to triple-A. Espinosa, in 2017, has spent time with both the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angles, accumulating an WAR of -1.5.

Minor league news:

  • Luke Maile moved to triple-A on his rehab stint, going one-for-four in Buffalo’s 2-1 victory over Rochester. Maile struck out twice and walked once as the starting catcher.
  • Both T.J. Zeuch, Toronto’s first draft pick in the 2016 draft, and Jackson McClelland will join the Arizona Fall League after the conclusion of the minor-league season, our very own Minor Leaguer reports.
  • Surprise, surprise: Nate Pearson continues to pitch unbelievably well with the low-A Vancouver Canadians, allowing just five base-runners and no earned runs in 16 innings.
  • Reese McGuire is staying hot in double-A, as he homered and caught three runners while behind the plate in yesterday’s game.

The Blue Jays lost to the Minnesota Twins 6-1 last night, where yet another outstanding catch from a centre fielder (in this case, Bryon Buxton) cost Toronto the game. J.A. Happ, nicknamed “Happer” for Players Weekend (grrr...), gave up five earned runs in his six innings of work. Also, a game recap headline without a pun!

Tomorrow’s 1:07 ET game against the Twins will feature a matchup between Marco Estrada and Dillon Gee, newly picked as Minnesota’s fifth starter. Gee gave up just one earned run over six innings in his first start since joining the rotation, not walking a batter.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkColley.