The Blue Jays announced that veteran reliever Jason Grilli has been designated for assignment. Righty Chris Smith has been called up to take his spot in the pen, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reported earlier today.
While Grilli proved to be an excellent reclamation project for Toronto last year, he fell off badly in 2017. The 40-year-old veteran has allowed 16 earned runs in his 20 2/3 frames. While he carries a respectable 23:9 K/BB ratio, Grilli has been touched for nine long balls already.
Teams weighing a move on the veteran will likely be deterred from a waiver claim by his $3MM salary. Despite the solid strikeout numbers, Grilli’s swinging-strike rate has dropped to 10.1% — well below his typical figure — though he is still sitting at 93 with his fastball.
Smith, meanwhile, will make his MLB debut as he nears his 29th birthday. He had pitched to a 3.93 ERA over 18 1/3 innings on the year at Tripe-A, where he recorded 7.4 K/9 against just 1.0 BB/9.