The Toronto Blue Jays activated lefty Clayton Richard on Thursday morning before their afternoon matchup with the Boston Red Sox, clearing the way for Richard to make his Blue Jays debut.
Richard, 35, was traded for in the offseason, acquired from San Diego in exchange for minor league outfielder (and Toronto-born) Connor Panas but injured his knee in spring training and started the season on the IL. Richard had a 3.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings this spring, walking three and striking out nine before the injury struck.
To make room for Richard, the Blue Jays sent Jimmy Cordero, whom they had claimed off of waivers from the Washington Nationals on May 15th, back to Buffalo.
In other transaction news, you’ve probably already heard that, in bolstering their pitching staff, the Blue Jays traded for Edwin Jackson and promoted Ryan Feierabend to the majors but they’ve also made some acquisitions at a minor league level while losing Javy Guerra on waivers to the Washington Nationals and Ryan Tepera to further injury.
The Blue Jays signed righty Vinny Nittoli to a minor league deal after he was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization on May 11. Nittoli is a 28 year old who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 25th round of the 2014 draft out of Xavier. He’s worked exclusively as a reliever in his five seasons (including 2019) in the minors, starting with Everett in the Northwest League in 2014. His numbers ticked up when he played for Bakersfield in the Advanced-A California League in 2016, striking out 63 batters in 52 1/3 innings and posting a very solid (for that league) 4.30 ERA but he was released by the Mariners in April of 2017. He spent 2017 in the American Association, pitching for St. Paul, posting a 3.33 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 46 innings, striking out 55 and walking 19 and returned in 2018, starting five games with a 3.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 21 and walking nine in 19 innings. In the offseason, Nittoli was signed by Arizona and he started four games (of five appearances) for the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno but allowed 19 earned runs in 18 innings, despite striking out 20 and walking nine in 18 innings. The Blue Jays signed him and assigned him to New Hampshire.
The Blue Jays also signed veteran lefty Buddy Boshers and assigned him to Buffalo. Boshers, 31, has pitched in parts of three seasons in the majors, accumulating 86 1/3 innings of work with a 4.59 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 25 walks and 78 strikeouts in that span. He got to The Show in 2013 with the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Angels, throwing 15 1/3 innings over 25 appearances. He was released by the Angels and went to the Atlantic League in 2015, playing for Somerset, with a 1.00 ERA over 52 appearances. He was signed by the Twins, pitching in the bigs and Triple-A in 2016 and 2017 before pitching for the Houston and Pittsburgh organization in 2018. Boshers pitched in spring training with the Cincinnati Reds, getting released before the season start but caught on with Puebla in the Mexican League, throwing 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball before the Blue Jays signed him.
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