Ending a short and uneventful tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, the triple-A Buffalo Bisons released Danny Espinosa Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Jays first signed Espinosa to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training on March 17, shortly after he was released by the New York Yankees. In 11 games with Toronto, Espinosa collected eight hits, walking eight times for a .310 OBP.
Espinosa began the season in triple-A. He had a clause in his contract to opt for his release if he wasn’t on the major-league roster by the end of April, so his exit from the Blue Jays organization is expected.
Randal Grichuk made a pretty crazy catch last night — if you can call it that. Technically, it was a catch, but it looked more like an accident.
Grichuk tripped and the ball somehow ended up cradled between his glove and his body. It’s pretty impressive.
Can’t watch this enough.— MLB (@MLB) April 29, 2018
How the heck did @RGrich15 do this? pic.twitter.com/EiWpBbX6fZ
Asked about the catch, here’s what some Blue Jays had to say about it:
Kevin Pillar: “Mine are much more graceful.”
Teoscar Hernandez: “I told him that he’s bonito but that was ugly.”
The Blue Jays ended up winning 7-2, avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers. J.A. Happ pitched wonderfully, once again, striking out nine and walking none. He’s now just the second Blue Jay pitcher to pitch back-to-back starts with at least nine strikeouts and no walks. Roger Clemens, in May of 1997, is the only other Blue Jay to accomplish it.
Happ has also struck out at least eight batters in each of his past five starts, the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. Clemens and A.J. Burnett had seven game stretches.
Surprisingly, his FIP isn’t as good as you’d expect it to be. Compared to his ERA of 3.50, Happ’s FIP is 3.41. He’s given up seven home runs this season, which likely explains that.
Happ’s start was still amazing, and extremely beneficial for the Blue Jays. Even with an extra arm in the bullpen (more on that later), having a starter go seven innings and allow just two runs certainly helps the bullpen get rest, which is especially vital with the team playing eight games in the next seven days.
The Blue Jays also ended a four-game losing streak. They head out for a road trip against the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland baseball team and Tampa Bay Rays next.
In a move that caught many by surprise, the Blue Jays optioned Devon Travis to triple-A Buffalo to make room for that additional arm mentioned above — Carlos Ramirez.
Speaking during the game Sunday on Sportsnet 590, general manager Ross Atkins said that the front office looked at every possible alternative to demoting Travis, but that that move made the most sense. He’ll be back up soon, John Gibbons said.
As Tom mentioned in his post yesterday, it’s also surprising that the Blue Jays didn’t select a long-man out of Buffalo. That’s the position that needs to be filled in the Toronto bullpen; if anything, I’d expect Joe Biagini to be brought up, simply because of his stamina and major-league experience (not that Ramirez doesn’t have experience, but Biagini has much more).