TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to add infielder Andy LaRoche to the roster for Friday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers after optioning outfielder Anthony Gose to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons on Thursday.
Rajai Davis’s return from the disabled list earlier this week made the highly regarded prospect redundant, and LaRoche gives manager John Gibbons more options in the infield while Brett Lawrie is on the disabled list with a left ankle strain.
LaRoche, a 29-year-old utilityman who last played in the big-league with Oakland in 2011, will likely share duties at third with Maicer Izturis and Mark DeRosa as Lawrie recovers.
The Blue Jays used Edwin Encarnacion at third base during their seven-game road trip through the National League in order to get Adam Lind’s bat into the lineup at first, but back home in the American League with the DH, the sluggers can move back to their regular positions.
A spot on the 40-man roster needs to be made for LaRoche, with a transfer of Ramon Ortiz to the 60-day DL one possibility.
The Blue Jays will need to make other moves soon with an opening for a fifth starter early next week, expected to be filled by Chad Jenkins, and Dustin McGowan’s rehab assignment due to expire June 12.
The right-handed reliever must be activated before then, and pitched in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday for the Bisons, an important point of progress.
Left-hander Darren Oliver, meanwhile, began a rehab assignment Wednesday with single-A Dunedin by throwing a scoreless inning. He’s on the DL retroactive to May 19 with a shoulder sprain and is eligible to come off when ready.
Gose appeared in 13 games this season, batting .304 with two doubles and three walks in 23 at-bats while mostly being used as a late-game defensive replacement and pinch-runner. At Buffalo, he batted .227 with two home runs, 12 RBIs, and five stolen bases in 40 games.