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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