Merryweather exited Tuesday's win over the Yankees with left hip irritation, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. The right-hander needed only two pitches to record the final out of the eighth inning and was expected to return for the ninth to close out the save, but he was instead pulled due to hip irritation. The severity of the injury remains unclear, so Merryweather should be considered day-to-day until more information is provided. Jordan Romano should be the primary candidate for saves if Merryweather is forced to miss time, though Rafael Dolis could also be in the mix.
Merryweather may not be ready to pitch on back-to-back days yet, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports. The right-hander was one of the stars of the season's opening weekend, dominating the Yankees with triple-digit heat to rack up his first two career saves, but Merryweather almost didn't make the initial 26-man roster due to back tightness late in the spring. Given his lengthy injury history the Jays intend to be very careful with his workload, which will keep the 29-year-old from pitching on consecutive days early in the season, and manager Charlie Montoyo also suggested that the club would only use Merryweather to begin innings rather than bringing him in to handle a jam. That leaves the door open for other relievers such as Jordan Romano to get save chances, but Merryweather has quickly established himself as a key piece of the late-inning puzzle for Toronto this season.
Merryweather recorded the save Sunday against the Yankees after tossing a scoreless ninth inning while fanning two. Merryweather recorded his second save of the season in dominant style, as he tossed nine of his 11 pitches for strikes and didn't have any problem recording the final three outs of the game. Merryweather is now 2-for-2 in save opportunities this season, and he could get more opportunities down the road, though Jordan Romano might serve as the team's primary closer going forward.
Merryweather struck out three over a perfect inning to earn the save against the Yankees on Thursday. Merryweather entered in the bottom of the 10th inning on Opening Day after the Blue Jays took a one-run lead in the top of the frame. The right-hander needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side and pick up his first major-league save. Nonetheless, Jordan Romano pitched the ninth and should serve as the primary closer for the Blue Jays this season.
Merryweather will begin the season on the 26-man roster, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports. The right-hander needed to prove he was healthy after battling back issues in camp, but Merryweather cleared the final hurdle by tossing a scoreless innings Monday in the Jays' last Grapefruit League game. He will likely fill a long-relief role out of the bullpen, but the 29-year-old could still fill key innings, considering the current state of the team's rotation.
|vs KANSAS CITY||0||0||0||0||0|
|@ EWING M. KAUFFMAN STADIUM||0||0||0||0||0|