The Blue Jays will start right-handers Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence this weekend in place of the injured Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). They’ll face an Angels lineup which, as Sherman notes, is largely right-handed.
Latos isn’t on the 40-man roster, so his addition will require a corresponding 40-man roster move. At present, it doesn’t seem that the Jays have any obvious candidates to be transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL, which could suggest that a DFA is on the horizon in Toronto.
Still just 29 years of age, Latos signed a minor league deal with the Jays after his second straight season of struggles in the Majors. Latos has pitched for five teams in the past two seasons, logging a combined 4.93 ERA in 186 1/3 innings between the Marlins, Dodgers, Angels, White Sox and Nationals. He had a rough Spring Training as well (6.75 ERA in 14 2/3 innings) but has been charged with just one earned run through his first nine frames in Buffalo and represents the most experienced depth option the Jays possess.
Lawrence, also 29, logged a 4.17 ERA with 6.0 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 162 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He made his Major League debut with Toronto earlier this year but allowed three runs on three hits and five walks (two intentional) with two strikeouts in two innings against the Rays.
The Blue Jays, clearly, will hope the need for Latos and Lawrence to be brief. To that end, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported last night that the team received positive news on both Happ and Sanchez yesterday. An MRI on Happ’s problematic left elbow didn’t show any structural damage. Sanchez, meanwhile, underwent a procedure to have roughly a quarter of the nail removed from his ailing finger, per Davidi, which could allow him to return to the rotation in short order. (Davidi notes that down the line, a chemical treatment to prevent the nail from growing back is an option.) Per Davidi, it’s possible that both pitchers could miss only the upcoming starts this weekend.