By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
So you want to work in a big league front office, eh? Note: they don’t get “long weekends."
On Saturday, the Blue Jays activated both Kevin Pillar and Russell Martin while calling up Cesar Valdez from the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, designating Mike Ohlman for assignment, optioning Dwight Smith Jr. to the Bisons and placing Aaron Sanchez back on the 10-day disabled list.
As Pillar returned from his team-issued two-game suspension, Smith Jr. became the odd man out and was shipped back to the club for which he slashed .297/.350/.422 across 36 games in 2017. Over a pair of appearances with Toronto, the left-handed hitting outfielder went hitless in three at-bats.
Martin’s activation meant that Toronto needed to move a catcher and because he didn't have any options remaining on his current contract Ohlman was designated for assignment. Signed to a minor league deal last November, the 26-year-old power threat appeared in five games with the Blue Jays and notched a pair of hits and struck out three times in nine at-bats.
Having never fully healed from a surgical procedure aimed at alleviating blister issues on his right middle finger, Sanchez lands on the disabled list for a third time in 2017. Through five starts this season, the 2016 American League ERA champ has gone 0–1 with 18 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings.
Recently claimed off waivers from the Oakland A's, Valdez, 32, is set to make his Blue Jays debut following a pair of starts with the Bisons. For his big league career, the product of Santo Domingo, DR has pitched to an overall ERA of 8.28 across 29 1/3 innings split between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the A's.
The Blue Jays' medical ward still incudes big names such as Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ and Francisco Liriano.
Recovering from a strained right hamstring, Tulowitzki is the first of those listed above to have started his rehab assignment and, as of Saturday, has appeared in three games with high-A Dunedin and has recorded three hits, two walks and a run in eight at-bats since joining the team.
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