Blue Jays activate Sparkman, send down Smith

Photo Credit: Logan Bowles, USA Today Sports

Photo Credit: Logan Bowles, USA Today Sports

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

TORONTO - With his 30-day rehab stint now complete, RHP Glenn Sparkman will join the Blue Jays in advance of their weekend set against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Fellow righty Chris Smith has been optioned to triple-A Buffalo to make room for the now healthy Rule 5 pick.

"We made roster moves," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons following his team's 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Thursday. "Smith will go down, and Sparkman will be here tomorrow."

Sparkman, 25, has pitched in seven minor-league contests since being cleared to play after sustaining a thumb fracture during spring training. With stops in Dunedin, New Hampshire, and Buffalo, the 6-foot-2 hurler pitched to an ERA of 2.25 with 12 strikeouts over 20 frames.

Looking to uncover the next Joe Biagini, Toronto selected Sparkman in the 2016 Rule 5 draft and will need to keep him on the active 25-man roster for the duration of this season should they wish to keep him within the fold beyond this call-up.

“It was clear that he was the guy that we’d like to select if he was still available,” explained Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins following December's draft. “We feel like there might be some upside to the stuff as well.”

Through 76 minor league games since being selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the 2013 MLB draft, Sparkman has posted an overall ERA of 2.65 with 262 punchouts and a WHIP of 1.089 across 258 innings. Forty-two of those 76 appearances have come as a starter.

After making his MLB debut on Tuesday, Smith heads back to Buffalo having faced only four big league batters in a scoreless frame in the Blue Jays' 3-1 loss to the Orioles. 

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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.