Toronto Blue Jays

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Three injured pitchers inch closer to returning

The Sports Xchange
Three injured pitchers inch closer to returning · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report

The Blue Jays could face some interesting problems with the imminent returns of right-handers Brandon Morrow, Frank Francisco and Octavio Dotel.

Manager John Farrell said it is a good problem to have.

Morrow, out due to mild inflammation in his right elbow, will be returning with his dominating stuff after a couple of minor league outings.

Jo-Jo Reyes opened the season by taking Morrow's spot in the rotation, and based on the way he pitched Tuesday, the decision to drop him from the rotation should be easy, barring injuries to someone else.

But the return of two relievers with closer experience could make the bullpen choices difficult.

Francisco was supposed to be the closer, but he opened on the disabled list with a sore biceps and chest muscle. Dotel is nearing a return after going on the DL with a strained hamstring.

The problem is that the bullpen is performing well right now.

Reyes is out of options, and the Jays like his arm, so they would like to keep him in the bullpen and not risk losing him on waivers.

Righty Casey Janssen and lefty Marc Rzepczynski have options left but are pitching well. Lefty David Purcey is out of options and still has the potential to be tough when he has command of his pitches, as he did in Tuesday's win.

Right-hander Carlos Villanueva certainly did not hurt his chances with a strong 2 2/3 innings that kept the Blue Jays in the game Tuesday after Oakland opened a 5-0 lead, helping Toronto come back for a 7-6 win in 10 innings.

Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch have proven track records.

As the manager says, stay tuned.

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2017 Team Leaders
AVGJustin Smoak , 1B.270
HRJustin Smoak , 1B38
RBIJustin Smoak , 1B90
OBPJustin Smoak , 1B.355
SLGJustin Smoak , 1B.529
RJose Bautista , RF92
SBKevin Pillar , CF15
WMarcus Stroman , SP13
ERAMarcus Stroman , SP3.09
WHIPMarcus Stroman , SP1.31
KMarco Estrada , SP176
SVRoberto Osuna , RP39

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