The Blue Jays have placed right-hander Trent Thornton on the injured list and selected the contract of lefty Travis Bergen to the Major League roster in his place, the team announced. In order to open a spot for Bergen on the 40-man roster, the Jays have designated left-hander Thomas Pannone for assignment.
Thornton’s injury is the latest in a mounting series of pitching ailments for the Jays. He joins Ken Giles, Nate Pearson and Matt Shoemaker among the notable names on the injured list for Toronto (in addition to star shortstop Bo Bichette). There’s no immediate timetable on Thornton’s return, but he lasted just one inning in this weekend’s spot start. Meanwhile, manager Charlie Montoyo tells reporters that Shoemaker is dealing with a lat strain and is considered “week to week” at this point (Twitter link via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet).
Bergen, 26, will be making his Jays debut when he first takes the hill. The southpaw was the team’s seventh-round pick back in 2015 but spent much of last season with the Giants after being selected in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft. Bergen didn’t get the full year he needed to stick with the Giants, however, as San Francisco returned him to the Jays last August following an IL stint due to a shoulder strain. Bergen pitched just 19 2/3 innings with the Giants and stumbled in that time: 12 runs on 18 hits, nine walks and a hit batter with 18 strikeouts (5.49 ERA).
Bergen has excellent when healthy in the minors, pitching to a 1.69 ERA across five levels. However, because he spent most of last season with the Giants’ MLB roster, has not pitched in a game this year in the absence of a minor league season and spent time on the IL in both 2016 and 2017, Bergen has just 106 2/3 total minor league innings under his belt.
Pannone, also 26, came to the Blue Jays in the 2017 trade that sent righty Joe Smith to Cleveland. He’s pitched 116 innings in the big leagues but has just a 5.43 ERA and 5.14 FIP to show for it, with averages of 7.6 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. He’s worked mostly as a starter in the minors and has a decent track record in both Double-A and Triple-A. Pannone will be out of options next spring but can be optioned freely for the rest of the 2020 season, so a club in need of some flexible rotation/bullpen depth — e.g. the Mets, who play six games in nine days beginning tomorrow — could conceivably take a look.