Player News - Blue Jays

Date: Team: Pos:

Christian Lopes hit a walkoff homer off Francisco Rodriguez to give a Blue Jays split-squad a 4-3 win over the Tigers on Sunday.

Lopes, a 2011 seventh-round pick out of high school, hit .295/.357/.401 in Double-A last year to keep himself on the fringes of prospectdom. It's still going to be a difficult path for him, since he's yet to demonstrate any real versatility beyond second base. His path in Toronto hinges on Devon Travis continuing to have difficulties staying healthy.
Mar 26 - 4:18 PM

Francisco Liriano fanned seven while allowing one run in 4 2/3 innings Sunday against the Orioles.

The slider has been working for Liriano all spring; he's sporting a 25/4 K/BB ratio in just 14 1/3 innings. He'd still look really good in the Pirates rotation right about now.
Mar 26 - 3:47 PM

Devon Travis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored on Saturday versus the Yankees.

He was playing in just his second game of the spring after recovering from knee surgery. He figures to serve as the Blue Jays' starting second baseman this season but may not be ready by Opening Day. The 26-year-old managed a .300 batting average with 11 home runs and 54 runs scored in 101 games in 2016.
Mar 25 - 5:20 PM

Mat Latos gave up three runs -- two earned -- in three innings of work in a loss to the Yankees on Saturday.

He gave up five hits, including one home run, and a walk without notching a strikeout. He sits on a 6.75 ERA in 14 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League action. He is a non-roster invitee to Blue Jays camp and seems unlikely to crack their starting rotation. The team will soon decide whether to take him north as a reliever or cut him loose. He put up a 4.89 ERA in 70 innings with the White Sox and Nationals last season.
Mar 25 - 5:14 PM

Roberto Osuna (back) is expected to return to Grapefruit League action on Monday.

The right-hander hasn't pitched since returning from the World Baseball Classic due to back soreness related to his mattress. He has since got a new one and feels much better, so don't expect this issue to linger heading into the regular season.
Mar 25 - 10:55 AM

Steve Pearce is making his first start in the outfield on Saturday in an exhibition against the Canadian junior team.

It isn't quite Grapefruit League action, but it's a very encouraging sign. Pearce is hitting cleanup and playing left field in that lineup. Barring any setbacks, he should be able to play the outfield on Opening Day as he has been targeting.
Mar 25 - 8:34 AM

J.A. Happ struck out five while allowing two runs -- one earned -- over 5 1/3 innings Friday in defeating the Red Sox.

He walked none and allowed just three hits. Happ has a 1.59 ERA and an even more impressive 0.62 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.
Mar 24 - 4:56 PM

Devon Travis got two at-bats and doubled in a run Friday against the Red Sox in his spring debut.

Travis is making his way back from knee surgery. If everything goes perfectly from here, he'll probably be in the Opening Day lineup, though perhaps not as an everyday player initially. If it's anything less than perfect, he could spend the first 7-10 days on the DL.
Mar 24 - 4:53 PM

Troy Tulowitzki doubled and singled in his two at-bats Friday against the Red Sox.

Tulo was leading off again today, and it seems like manager John Gibbons might be thinking of putting him there to begin the regular season. Gibbons did use him there after the Jays first acquired him in July 2015, but he declared last spring that he had no intention of doing it again and he hit Tulo in the middle of the order all year long. Devon Travis is the ideal option for the Jays in the top spot, but he's just working his way back and the team might figure it'd be asking too much to put him there on Opening Day.
Mar 24 - 4:51 PM

Blue Jays optioned RHP Danny Barnes to Triple-A Buffalo.

He put up a 5.79 ERA over six appearances this spring. Barnes pitched well in his brief time with the Jays last season and has put up terrific numbers in the minors, so he'll get another shot soon enough.
Mar 24 - 4:34 PM

Sportsnet's Arash Madani reports that Marco Estrada is expected to be the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter.

He'll be followed by J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, Francisco Liriano and Aaron Sanchez. Estrada has earned the Opening Day assignment after putting up a 3.30 ERA across 63 appearances -- 57 starts -- for the Blue Jays over the last two seasons.
Mar 24 - 1:19 PM

Marcus Stroman was dominant in helping the United States to down Puerto Rico 8-0 in Wednesday's World Baseball Classic finals, allowing one hit over six-plus scoreless innings.

Working with a brutally heavy sinker, Stroman turned in a dominant performance in the WBC-clincher. He did not allow a hit through his first six innings of work. Angel Pagan finally snapped the no-no with a double to lead off the seventh, after which Stroman took a well-deserved ovation on his way to the dugout. He struck out three and walked one in the big spring victory, finishing the title-clincher having thrown 73 pitches (44 for strikes). As for the coming season, the 25-year-old right-hander will look to improve upon the 4.37 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 166/54 K/BB ratio he registered in 204 innings during the 2016 campaign.
Mar 23 - 12:54 AM

Marco Estrada limited the Tigers to one run over five innings and struck out five in the Blue Jays' 5-4 win Wednesday.

Estrada, who opted to stay with the Jays rather than pitch for Mexico in the WBC, has a 3.46 ERA through 13 innings this spring. He remains interesting as a fifth or sixth starter in mixed leagues.
Mar 22 - 4:25 PM

Working in short relief, Joe Biagini gave up three runs -- two earned -- in the ninth inning Wednesday against the Tigers.

Biagini made a couple of starts this spring, the last coming eight days ago, but he's been utilized in short relief his last two times out, which would seem to be a strong indication that the Jays are leaning towards keeping him up as a reliever rather than sending him to Triple-A to start. They could swing the other way again if Biagini struggles in relief, as he did today. He was really impressive as a Rule 5 pick last year, but he's allowed eight runs -- three earned -- in 9 1/3 innings this spring.
Mar 22 - 4:23 PM

Devon Travis (knee) is slated to make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday.

Travis, who is coming back from knee surgery, is slated to play five innings at second base. It's the natural next step for him after he has been playing in minor league games this week. Travis progressed a little slower than originally expected, but he's rounding into shape just in time for Opening Day.
Mar 22 - 3:49 PM


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