By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO - A day removed from going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, Norichka Aoki's time with the Blue Jays appears to be over.
On Monday, the 35-year-old native of Hyuga, Japan was designated for assignment as part of a roster shakeup that was designed to open a spot on the the Blue Jays' 40-man roster for southpaw Brett Anderson, who could be seen running at Rogers Centre in advance of Monday's announcement.
In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Leonel Campos was called up from triple-A Buffalo.
Acquired by Toronto in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano to Houston earlier at the non-waiver deadline, Aoki slashed .281/.294/.594 with three home runs over 32 at bats with the Blue Jays.
With a year of team control remaining on his current contract, in addition to a high contact rate and the upcoming September 1 roster expansions, Monday's decision may come as both a surprise and hint as to how the team intends on utilizing minor-league outfielders Anthony Alford and Teoscar Hernadez in 2018.
Barring a trade, both Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera project to be in the Blue Jays' plans next season. That leaves one potential outfield vacancy should the team decide not to exercise their end of Jose Bautista's mutual option.
Aoki was thought to have already staked a claim to that spot, but with him out of the picture, it would appear that there's now an opening for either Alford or Hernandez.
Monday's recall represents the sixth time Campos has been brought up from triple-A Buffalo this season. Through nine Major League appearances in 2017, the 29-year-old righty has posted an ERA of 3.38 with 11 strikeouts against six walks.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed that Anderson would be the one taking the hill for Toronto on Tuesday.
Through six starts with the Chicago Cubs in 2017, Anderson had pitched to an ERA of 8.18 while posting an overall WHIP of 2.091 across 22 innings. With stops in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the nine-year vet has gone 40-45 through 133 big league appearances, 121 of which have been starts.
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