Blue Jays' Yusei Kikuchi to start Thursday's series opener vs. Tigers

Arash Madani and Shi Davidi discuss the Toronto Blue Jays' plan at the trade deadline, including why Juan Soto may be the first domino to fall, starting pitching targets, and whether the Blue Jays can expect internal pitching help soon.

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday that pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will start Thursday's series opener against the Detroit Tigers.

The Blue Jays confirmed the move Thursday afternoon by removing Kikuchi from the 15-day injured list and optioning righty Jeremy Beasley to triple-A to make room.

This will be the left-hander's first start since July 5 where he came off injured after 2.1 innings. The Blue Jays placed Kikuchi on the 15-day injured list with neck strains on July 7.

Sportsnet's Arash Madani further reported that Kikuchi changed the grip to his slider and his throwing program during his time on the IL.

The Iwate, Japan native went on a rehab assignment with triple-A Buffalo on July 22. Kikuchi allowed two hits and threw four strikeouts in five innings, helping the Bisons notch a 3-0 win.

Kikuchi currently holds a 3-5 record, a 5.12 ERA and has 74 strikeouts to his tally with the Blue Jays this season.

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