Blue Jays call up Gurriel, activate Morales

 The Toronto Blue Jays called up infield prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on Friday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

The Toronto Blue Jays called up infield prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on Friday. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

Initiating a series of roster moves, the Toronto Blue Jays have called up 24-year-old infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and re-activated designated hitter Kendrys Morales off the 10-day disabled list.

To complete Friday's list of transactions, infielder Gift Ngoepe and left-handed reliever Tim Mayza have been optioned to triple-A Buffalo.

Through 12 games with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2018, the right-handed hitting Gurriel has slashed .347/.382/.510 with five extra-base hits, one of which left the yard.

Signed to a seven-year, $22-million pact in November 2016, Gurriel Jr. has played in just 97 games since being declared an international free agent three months prior to inking his deal with Toronto.

Perhaps becoming expendable due to the fact that the Blue Jays will use Russell Martin at third base on occasion, Ngoepe managed just one hit in 18 at-bats with the Blue Jays, striking out 12 times and walking only once.

Prior to landing on the DL with a grade 1 hamstring strain, Morales had hit .227 with a home run ans six RBI through eight games.

Called up prior to the Blue Jays proposed weekend set in Cleveland, Mayza made one appearance with the big club, tossing a scoreless ninth in Toronto's 15-5 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

At the time of his call-up, Gurriel Jr. was ranked as the Blue Jays' fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. His addition to the Blue Jays' active roster should hand manager John Gibbons a reliable defensive option who, along with providing some additional upside with the bat, can play both short and second.

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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.