Sports As Pannone joins Blue Jays, intrigue surrounds Monday start

04:30  10 august  2018
04:30  10 august  2018 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Ex-Blue Jays closer Osuna a no-show for court Wednesday

  Ex-Blue Jays closer Osuna a no-show for court Wednesday A lawyer for former Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna says his client will not be appearing in court Wednesday afternoon in Toronto. The 23-year-old was arrested in May and charged with assault in connection to an alleged domestic incident. His lawyer, Domenic Basile, says he will be representing Osuna at the Toronto court hearing. The Blue Jays traded Osuna to the Houston Astros on Monday. Osuna was suspended without pay for 75 games in June for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. He is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday.

Pannone combined to go 9-3 with a 2.36 ERA over 144 2/3 innings at two levels last season. The native of Rhode Island made three appearances for the Blue Jays this spring, including two starts , and allowed five runs over six innings.

- Blue Jays left-hander Thomas Pannone is hoping to add another pitch to his repertoire before the end of spring. Pannone is not competing for a spot on the roster, but a strong start to the year would put him next in line when a member of the big league staff goes down.

a man standing in front of a crowd© Nathan Denette/CP

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have been so short on innings lately that they’ve started relief pitchers while scouring independent leagues and minor-league fields for assistance.

Far from ideal for the team, but late Wednesday night this problem became a long-awaited opportunity for Thomas Pannone. The left-hander was on his couch in Buffalo playing video games when Bisons manager Bobby Meacham called to tell him to pack his bags for a promotion to Toronto.

“From that moment there, my heart started racing,” Pannone recalled in the dugout at Rogers Centre Thursday afternoon.

Acquired from Cleveland in last summer’s Joe Smith trade, Pannone will provide the Blue Jays with length as a reliever. And though the Blue Jays may be leaning toward another starter for Monday’s start against the Royals, Pannone’s in the discussion for that assignment, too.

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Jays prospect Thomas Pannone puts PED suspension behind him. Blue Jays Monday Musings – Sweep-less in Seattle. NBC Sports  Craig Calcaterra. Aug 2 Following Rays' example, Blue Jays will start reliever Tyler Clippard.

Archer excited to join surging Pirates after trade. 14h. Chris Colabello, then with the Blue Jays , tested positive for the same substance in 2016. Pannone is on Toronto's 40-man roster but has not made his major league debut. He was 9-3 2.36 ERA in 25 starts for three teams at Class A and

“Right now he’ll be coming out of the ‘pen,” manager John Gibbons said. “If something happens (Thursday) and we needed some innings, he’d be perfect for that. Down the road, we’ll see.”

The last year has included many highs and lows for Pannone, who received an 80-game suspension in March after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a banned substance under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Now, the 24-year-old’s ‘ecstatic’ to be in the big leagues after six seasons in the minors.

“I’ve had crazy ups and downs,” Pannone said. “I went from having a great last year at double-A Akron with the Indians and then got traded here to the Blue Jays. I was added to the 40-man (roster) in the off-season, which was awesome and then got some pretty bad news in January, went through that whole process. Working through all that I had good days and I had bad days. I just couldn’t be happier that I’m here.

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The Blue Jays are playing it safe with the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Sanchez and his blister issues by Guerrieri is an intriguing arm is he can stay healthy, the hurler made two starts for Triple-A The Jays acquired Sam Gaviglio from the Kansas City Royals at the end of March after Pannone

The Blue Jays have about 10 starts to give each spot in the rotation, which easily could have been managed to accommodate the right-hander, especially with Aaron Sanchez, set for a rehab start Thursday in the GCL, on track to return. Lefty Thomas Pannone and righty David Paulino

“The suspension was tough,” he added. “Those 80 days in Florida, I’m not going to ever say that that was easy, but I had great support around me.”

Pannone has made six starts at triple-A since being reinstated, posting a 4.91 ERA with the Bisons. He has been around the strike zone consistently, though, with 40 strikeouts compared to seven walks in 36.2 innings.

“I was sneaking my fastball past some guys, using my curveball and change-up as well,” Pannone said. “All three pitches I’ve been mixing pretty well, getting ahead of guys and pounding the strike zone. I think that’s what’s been working the most.”

The Blue Jays optioned Mike Hauschild in a corresponding move that creates an opening in the Toronto rotation for Monday, the first of four games against the Royals. If the Blue Jays don’t need Pannone in long relief over the next four days, he might get the call in Kansas City.

“He could be a candidate,” Gibbons said. “That’s how we envision him anyways–as a starter.”

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TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is hoping the abundance of rest his rotation has received won't throw off the group's timing. On Monday , for a third straight day, the club had a game postponed due to weather and will play a traditional doubleheader against the Royals at 3:07 p.m. ET

Still, there’s a possibility that the Blue Jays need Pannone over the weekend, so they have to consider other options for that Monday start. As Gibbons said, “I’m sure there’s a couple. At least one of them, anyhow.”

That one would be Sean Reid-Foley, the 2014 second-round pick who now ranks 10th among Blue Jays prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. The right-hander has a 3.50 ERA in 15 starts with Buffalo while averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. While his command remains a work in progress, he has walked just 27 in 82.1 innings at triple-A. As such, Reid-Foley appears to be the leading candidate to start Monday.

“He’s starting to move in the right direction at a high level,” Gibbons said. “He’s viewed a lot like (Ryan) Borucki–part of the future. We’ve talked about using him, too. It’s going to happen eventually anyways. We don’t have anything definite yet.”

The next few days will help determine exactly how those pieces fit together. For now, Pannone’s in the big leagues and Reid-Foley’s chances of getting there soon have never looked better.

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