Canadian Albers to join Blue Jays in Cleveland

Andrew Albers (Nathan Denette/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to add Canadian left-hander Andrew Albers to their roster before Friday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, an industry source told Sportsnet.

Albers is set to become the fifth Canadian to play for the Blue Jays in 2015, joining Dalton Pompey, Russell Martin, Michael Saunders and Jeff Francis.

The Blue Jays will have to make a corresponding move to add Albers to the roster, though the specifics aren’t known at this time. The Blue Jays have a full 40-man roster without clear candidates to be transitioned to the 60-day disabled list.

Albers, 29, has a 3.09 ERA with 12 strikeouts and six walks in four starts spanning 23.1 innings with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. While his fastball has averaged just 86 mph at the MLB level, he has kept walks to a minimum with just 2.0 per nine allowed in parts of seven minor league seasons.

The native of North Battleford, Sask. started 10 games for the Minnesota Twins in 2013, posting a 4.05 ERA. He spent the 2014 season pitching in South Korea for the Hanwha Eagles before signing a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December.

“As a Canadian it’s always something you look to — to be a part of that organization,” Albers told Sportsnet at the time. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Blue Jays are in need of pitching depth after Daniel Norris’ three-inning start Thursday forced Toronto to use four relievers. Albers had been scheduled to start Friday, so he’ll provide manager John Gibbons with some much-needed length.

Alexis Brudnicki first reported the news. Albers’ agent, Blake Corosky of True Gravity Sports, could not be reached for comment.

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