ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Toronto Blue Jays were pleasantly surprised to be able to bolster their depth at triple-A Buffalo on Thursday when right-hander Mike Bolsinger cleared waivers and they won a waiver claim on former Tampa Bay Rays catcher Luke Maile.
Bolsinger, designated for assignment last weekend after getting beat out by Ryan Tepera for the final spot in the bullpen, is expected to join a Bisons rotation that will also include potential big-league stopgaps in Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence.
"Feel that with what he’s already done in the big-leagues and some of the things that we’ve learned about him that – in addition to some other guys that we have, Mat Latos being maybe the one that’s most noteworthy – we feel much better about our depth today than we did yesterday," said general manager Ross Atkins.
Bolsinger posted a 3.62 ERA in 21 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015 but couldn’t replicate that success last year, getting traded to the Blue Jays at the deadline. He was out of options this spring.
Maile, 26, appeared in 42 games for the Rays last season, posting a .613 OPS, and was recently designated for assignment. The Bisons already have three catchers in Juan Graterol, Mike Ohlman and Alex Monsalve, so his addition will require some juggling, something Atkins said the team was still working through.
"We didn’t anticipate having that opportunity, certainly at the start of spring training, certainly when we claimed Graterol, when we signed Mike Ohlman," explained Atkins. "But the opportunity to add a piece that we feel is an already now major-league defender was something we didn’t want to pass on."
SIM GAME FOR OSUNA: Roberto Osuna (neck) will face a couple of teammates Saturday when he throws in a simulated game at Tropicana Field.
The Blue Jays opted to take that route rather than have him pitch in a minor-league game this weekend.
"That way we can control it and he can throw as many pitches as he needs to," said manager John Gibbons. "If he goes over there, he might throw five pitches."
Osuna can be activated from the disabled list April 11 and Gibbons said, "When he’s eligible he’ll be ready. His neck and everything has calmed down."
DAY OFF FOR TRAVIS: Second baseman Devon Travis was out of the starting lineup for Thursday’s series opener against the Rays but available off the bench as the Blue Jays look to manage his workload.
"Just a day off," said John Gibbons. "We decided it’s his first few weeks, we’ll see how the season is going, make sure we guard him a little bit. I just figured he played his first couple, long travel day, it was part of the plan anyway."
The Blue Jays have been impressed how he’s looked on his surgically repaired right knee.
"I wasn’t so sure he was going to break camp with us," said Gibbons. "But he came on strong at the end."
SHORT HOPS: The Blue Jays recently released Gavin Floyd, who underwent surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. "He’s one of the good guys," said John Gibbons. … Dalton Pompey continues to make slow progress in his recovery from a concussion but there’s no timeline for his return. … Right-hander Lucas Harrell will open the triple-A season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his biceps. He isn’t expected to be out for an extended period.