The Blue Jays have designated infielder Jake Lamb for assignment, according to a team announcement. His spot on the 40-man roster was needed for fellow infielder Breyvic Valera, who has been reinstated from the COVID-related IL. Additionally, left-handed pitcher Tayler Saucedo was optioned to Triple-A and right-handed pitcher Thomas Hatch recalled to take his place.
Lamb was picked up off waivers by the Blue Jays on September 3rd to help add some depth at third base in the wake of injuries to Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal. Since that time, he’s been sharing time at the hot corner with Valera. He hasn’t been able to help the Canadian birds too much, in a small sample of just 12 games, slashing .129/.256/.290, for a wRC+ of 49. Since Lamb was claimed after August 31st, he wouldn’t have been playoff eligible, and is also headed to free agency at the end of the season. Those factors, combined with the fact that Biggio and Espinal are both on rehab assignments and nearing returns, edged him out of Toronto’s plans.
He had a better showing for the White Sox earlier in the season, when he slashed .212/.321/.389 over 43 games, a wRC+ of 99. But even that wasn’t good enough to hold onto a roster spot, as the Pale Hose opted to give that playing time to Romy Gonzalez instead. Lamb had two excellent campaigns for the Diamondbacks in 2016 and 2017, hitting .248/.345/.498, production that was 12% better than league average, according to wRC+. However, after undergoing shoulder surgery in 2018, he hasn’t been able to reach that same level of production, although his walk rate is still good. From 2019 to the present, his line is .193/.309/.358, wRC+ of 81. He’ll now see if any team is intrigued enough to give him some at-bats down the stretch, though any team doing so wouldn’t be able to use him in the postseason.
As for Valera, he’s back after just a single day on the IL. It was a precautionary placement on account of a family member testing positive. Since he’s back so quickly, it can be assumed that he himself did not test positive. In 36 games with the Jays this year, the switch-hitter has a line of .253/.308/.361, for a wRC+ of 81.