Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthoupolous already is considered among the most active GMs in all of baseball and he’s been at it again, making a flurry of roster moves over the past 24 hours. The team has placed third baseman Brett Lawrie on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. They’ve optioned Thad Weber to Triple-A. They’ve also designated first baseman Clint Robinson and right-hander Ramon Ortiz for assignment. Replacing the trio on the active roster are right-hander Todd Redmond, left-hander Juan Perez, and right-hander Neil Wagner. Robinson and Ortiz were DFA’d in part because Perez and Wagner needed to be added to the team’s 40-man roster.
Placing Lawrie on the DL seemed to be inevitable after Lawrie was forced out of Monday night’s game early. He appeared to turn his ankle stealing second base in the 6th inning, but stayed in the game initially. He’d move over to third during the next at bat, but was in some obvious discomfort and would be replaced by Mark DeRosa. Lawrie already missed some time at the start of the regular season but has struggled at the plate for much of the year. He’s hit just .209/.268/.374 in 153 PA, but he does have 9 HR. There has to be hope in Toronto that Lawrie not only returns healthy when he’s eligible to come off the DL, but that he can regain his old offensive punch at the same time.
Who’ll replace Lawrie in the starting lineup remains unclear. Maicer Izturis, DeRosa, and Emilio Bonifacio all have seen time at third base in their respective careers and are already on the active roster so they could be viable options in the interim. Kyle Franzoni at Jays Journal suggests that Andy LaRoche could be an option, though he isn’t yet on the 40-man roster. LaRoche has hit .295/.372/.483 in 172 PA for the team’s Triple-A affiliate after joining the organization on a minor league deal in the offseason. LaRoche hasn’t appeared in a game in the Majors since the 2011 season.
Ortiz made six appearances, including three starts, for the Blue Jays on the year, throwing 23.1 IP. He’s 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA and a concerning 11.2 H/9 in that stretch. He’d posted strong numbers at Triple-A last season before the Blue Jays signed him to a minor league contract this past winter. This marks the second time he’s been DFA’d this season. Weber had been claimed off of waivers from the San Diego Padres on May 19th and made just a handful of appearances for Toronto. He allowed the game winning run in extra innings on Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Moving both Ortiz and Weber out of the bullpen appeared necessary, as Toronto has been plagued by ineffectiveness from their relief corps in recent weeks. Their starting rotation has struggled as well, necessitating a move to have Esmil Rogers make his first start of the season this week.
Robinson was claimed off of waivers at the end of Spring Training from the Pittsburgh Pirates and has spent the year at Double-A New Hampshire. He’s hit .270/.381/.404 in 210 PA. DFA’ing the 28 year old was necessary simply to make space on the 40-man roster.
Redmond, Perez, and Wagner have all been pitching at Triple-A Buffalo. All three have limited prior MLB experience in their careers, but will be making their first appearances with the Blue Jays’ big league club.
Claimed off of waivers from the Baltimore Orioles at the end of Spring Training, Redmond was already on the 40-man. He’s thrown only 5.2 IP on the year, however, and has allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks. Perez and Wagner, though, have earned their respective promotions onto the team’s active roster with solid seasons on the mound thus far after joining the team on minor league deals over the winter. Perez is 2-1 with a 0.86 ERA and 1.095 WHIP over 21.0 IP in 17 appearances. Wagner is 1-0 with a 0.89 ERA and 0.885 WHIP in 20.1 IP himself. The pair have combined to save 16 games for Buffalo.