Blue Jays’ Merryweather pounds strike zone in rehab outing for Bisons

Toronto Blue Jays’ Julian Merryweather pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning of a spring training baseball game at TD Ballpark, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Dunedin, Fla. (Steve Nesius/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Toronto Blue Jays right-handed reliever Julian Merryweather had another impressive outing on Tuesday as his major league rehab assignment continued.

Merryweather didn’t allow a hit and struck out a pair in two innings for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Eighteen of Merryweather’s 25 pitches were for strikes.

The fourth appearance of the rehab assignment for Merryweather — who suffered an oblique injury in mid-June — marked the first time he went longer than one inning.

Merryweather hasn’t allowed a hit in five innings during the rehab assignment.

Bisons catcher Zack Collins, in an interview with Buffalo News reporter Mike Harrington, said he was impressed with Merryweather.

“He was electric like he always is,” Collins said, per Harrington. “Extremely good slider, nasty changeup, as good as it can get. The stuff is definitely there. Second time I’ve caught him. Last time was New York. It’s been the same. He’s back.”

The six-foot-four, 215-pound Merryweather has a power arm, but has struggled to stay healthy.

He was the player to be named later shipped to the Blue Jays in a deal sending Josh Donaldson to Cleveland in 2018.

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