Matt Boyd will start Saturday against Rangers

By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network

After taking two out of three in Tampa Bay earlier this week, the Blue Jays return to Rogers Center, welcoming in the 37-36 Texas Rangers for a three-game weekend set.

The Jays will start left handed veteran Mark Buehrle in the series opener on Friday.

But with their starting rotation in a state of flux due to the absence of Aaron Sanchez (strained lat) and Drew Hutchison, who has had a string of shaky performances from pitching Game 3 on Sunday one question remains.

Who gets Game 2?

Allowing a pair of earned runs on three hits during his first taste of big-league action since May 18th, right handed slinger, Todd Redmond was recalled prior to Monday nights tilt in St. Petersburg. 

Although Redmond comes with both the required rest to pick up a spot start and the ability to effectively eat up a share innings, the Floridian is unquestionably best suited for the long relief role out of Toronto’s pen as getting batters out during the second trip through the order has been an area of concern for the 30 year old hurler.

Scott Copeland? Well not so fast ... After making a trio of starts accompanied by varying results, Copeland, pitching in his first year at the MLB level, was optioned to triple-A Buffalo in order to clear a spot for Redmond earlier this week. 

MLB rule dictates that, barring an injury, Toronto cant recall his services for at least 10 days. 

If they can’t have Copeland, it will likely come down to another member of the Herd as one of their current standouts is sure to make the short trip up the Queen Elizabeth Way at some point either late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

With Devon Travis being activated, Munenori Kawasaki, the improved bat of Ryan Goins and the lefty mashing Danny Valencia in the mix, Toronto’s favorite Japanese import was again the odd man out. 

A corresponding roster move will be needed in order clear a spot for Toronto’s mystery pitcher. 
So who, exactly, can the Blue Jays choose from?

Randy Wolf may be an option as, despite allowing a concerning amount of base runners, the aging southpaw has found a way to rekindle his career during his time spent with Buffalo. 

Currently boasting an ERA of 3.06 while allowing only two home runs in his 79 and a third innings of work for the Bisons, Wolf has stuck with the Blue Jays organization well past his player opt-out date. 

Will he be rewarded for his loyalty? Doubtful. Having last pitched on Tuesday, It’s highly unlikely that, at 38 years old, the decision makers in Toronto opt to bring him up on three days rest.

Daniel Norris, you ask? Struck out nine over six innings of work on Wednesday and has one bad inning against Aaron Nola. 

Chad Jenkins? After appearing primarily as a reliever, the righty was stretched for four scoreless frames on Thursday.

For those keeping score at home, that leaves only Vancouver’s Jeff Francis, former Jays killer, Felix Doubront and fellow lefty Matt Boyd remaining both rested and in the stable as potential solutions ... 

Like Wolf, none of the trio can be found on the Blue Jays 40-man roster meaning that potential demotion, another move would have to be made in order to welcome their arrival on Saturday.

With Bisons Manager, Gary Allenson citing general maintenance, Boyd, a former sixth round draft pick (2013), was scratched from his start on Thursday afternoon.

Could Toronto be tipping their hand with regards to his potential promotion to the big leagues this weekend?

His numbers, albeit coming in the form of a mere 243 minor league innings, would certainly suggest that the 6-foot-3 left hander may be due for another promotion.

Over his last 10 games split between New Hampshire (AA) and Buffalo, Boyd, a distant relative of Bullet Bob Feller, has allowed only nine earned runs across 65 innings of work while limiting the opposition to only 54 base runners during that stretch. 

In Texas, Boyd could help the Jays neutralize key offensive threats in Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Gallo ... all of which swing left handed. 

-Follow Andrew Hendriks on Twitter (@77hendriks)