Earlier today, Twitter was abuzz with rumours (originated by Alexis Brudnicki) that lefty Andrew Albers was going to be called up by the Blue Jays.
North Battleford, Saskatchewan’s Andrew Albers likely to join the #BlueJays in Cleveland Friday. Will be 5th Canadian with Toronto this year
— Alexis Brudnicki (@baseballexis) May 1, 2015
When that happened, most writers were wondering the same thing: who would be the player to go in order to make room for Albers? Some speculated that Dalton Pompey would go down to make room for an eight-man bullpen. The questions were legitimate, seeing that the Blue Jays had a full 40-man roster and would need to make room for Albers, who had signed on a minor league free agent deal.
Finally, just about two hours ago, the Blue Jays officially announced their decision, sending rookie lefty Daniel Norris down to the Buffalo Bisons and calling up Albers.
What does this mean for Norris? Probably very little in the long run. I’ve been on the record as saying that I thought Norris should start the year in the minor leagues. My original prediction was that he’d be the Opening Day starter for the Bisons and could use a few months of work in the minors (as I said on the Cardy Show, see the 11:30 mark). We’re seeing a lot of the same things that I saw when I caught one of Norris’s starts for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last year and it’s not surprising to see that he’s going to be given the opportunity to figure things out away from Toronto.
Saskatchewan-born Andrew Albers brings another Canadian to the Blue Jays’ roster (I believe we’re at five now), and will serve as a long man out of the bullpen. It’s an interesting choice for Alex Anthopoulos, mainly because there were pitchers doing better in the Buffalo rotation (like Scott Copeland and Chad Jenkins to name two). Indeed, Jenkins is already on the 40-man roster and wouldn’t require the Jays to do anything to make room for him. That said, he just pitched the other day and is likely unavailable for a day or two. Albers is a soft-tossing lefty who doesn’t strike out a lot of batters (to which his 12.8% K rate can attest) but has good control and some big league experience.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have moved Maicer Izturis to the 60-day DL. Marco Estrada moves into the rotation to take Norris’s spot.
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