Blue Jays promote five players as rosters expand

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker outline a couple of intriguing Blue Jays September call-ups, including Dalton Pompey, Canadian Jeff Francis and of course everyone’s favourite Munenori Kawasaki.

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have taken advantage of expanded rosters by calling up five players Tuesday, bolstering their team for the final month of the season with more moves to come.

Relievers Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup and Jeff Francis joined the team in Toronto along with outfielder Dalton Pompey and infielder Munenori Kawasaki. While the call-ups will not displace any of Toronto’s regulars, they provide depth and give the Blue Jays more late-game options.

“Those guys fit a role that we could use,” manager John Gibbons said.

The Blue Jays intend to call up more players, starting with catcher Josh Thole, who will return to action Wednesday when R.A. Dickey starts.

“There might be a couple more,” Gibbons said. “It could happen. I don’t know if it will, but it could.”

Matt Hague, who was named the International League’s MVP Tuesday, has earned consideration for a call-up by batting .347 with a .908 OPS at triple-A Buffalo. The corner infielder appeared in one game for the big-league team in late August before being sent back to the Bisons.

“There’s a good shot he’ll come back,” Gibbons said.

Tepera, Loup, Pompey and Kawasaki were already on Toronto’s 40-man roster, and the club designated left-hander Colt Hynes for assignment to make room for Francis.

MLB teams can carry up to 40 players in September, and while they don’t push that limit to the max, they do take advantage of the opportunity to bolster their rosters for the final month of the season.

If Marcus Stroman’s rehab start goes well at Class A Lansing Wednesday, the rehabbing right-hander will also be one step closer to joining the Blue Jays for the stretch run.

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