The Blue Jays announced they’ve placed right-hander Ross Stripling on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Trent Thornton is being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, while the Jays selected the contract of right-hander Connor Overton. To create 40-man roster space for Overton, Toronto designated righty Patrick Murphy for assignment.
Stripling has been a regular in the Jays starting five for much of the season. He’s made twenty appearances (nineteen starts) and worked 93 1/3 innings of 4.34 ERA/4.21 SIERA ball. Stripling has bounced back a bit from a 2020 season that saw him post a 5.84 ERA between the Dodgers and Jays, but he’s yet to regain the above-average form he showed during his best years in Los Angeles.
Toronto has been rolling with a six-man rotation recently. With Stripling out, it seems Hyun-jin Ryu, José Berríos, Robbie Ray, Alek Manoah and Steven Matz will get the ball more frequently over the coming days. The team didn’t provide a timetable on Stripling’s potential return.
Overton will be making his major league debut when he first gets into a game. Selected by the Marlins in the 15th round of the 2014 draft out of Old Dominion, Overton was released the following season. He’d go on to spend time in the Nationals’ and Giants’ organizations but didn’t get to the big leagues with either club.
The 28-year-old hooked on with the Jays on a minor league contract over the winter. He’s had a great season with the Bisons, working to a 2.03 ERA over 57 2/3 frames as a swingman. Overton has worked multiple innings in 17 of his 21 appearances in Triple-A, so he’ll serve as a long relief option for manager Charlie Montoyo. He’s never run particularly high strikeout rates, but Overton has been adept at avoiding walks and keeping the ball on the ground this season.
It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Jays designate Murphy, who will find himself on waivers in the coming days. The 26-year-old has long been regarded as one of the more talented pitching prospects in the organization, but a series of injuries has impeded his progress up the ladder. Murphy has had brief stints in the majors in each of the past two seasons, working 15 1/3 innings of 3.52 ERA ball.
While his peripherals in that limited work haven’t been particularly impressive, he’s averaged north of 96 MPH on his sinker. Murphy has typically posted groundball rates approaching or exceeding 50% at each minor league level. A starting pitcher throughout much of that time, Murphy has worked exclusively out of the bullpen this season. He’s in his final minor league option year, so any team that claims him could keep him in Triple-A through the end of the season but would have to break camp with him beginning in 2022.