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Pillar's homer powers Blue Jays past Royals

Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Toronto trailed, 5-4, when Pillar lined a Blaine Boyer pitch into the left-field stands. Tyler Clippard held the lead in the eighth and Ken Giles came on for his second save with the Blue Jays.

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KANSAS CITY -- Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Toronto trailed, 5-4, when Pillar lined a Blaine Boyer pitch into the left-field stands. Tyler Clippard held the lead in the eighth and Ken Giles came on for his second save with the Blue Jays.

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The Blue Jays bounced out to a 3-0 lead against Royals starter Heath Fillmyer. They loaded the bases with none out in the second and got their first run when Aledmys Diaz bounced into a double play. Pillar added an RBI single in the second and Russell Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning.

But starter Ryan Borucki began having trouble in the third as the Royals used a three-run rally to pull even. Adalberto Mondesi, who had four hits and three stolen bases, produced a one-out double and Whit Merrifield, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez each contributed run-scoring hits.

Video: TOR@KC: Jansen belts his 1st career home run in 4th

Danny Jansen briefly gave the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead with his first Major League homer, but Mondesi's run-scoring single in the fourth set the stage for Jorge Bonifacio's go-ahead RBI double in the seventh.

UP NEXT
Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (5-9, 4.84 ERA) will be looking for a sharp outing in the third game of the series against the Royals at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. Estrada gave up five runs over 5 1/3 innings on Friday against the Rays. Righty Burch Smith (1-4, 6.97 ERA), who lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his most recent start against the Cardinals, will get the ball for Kansas City.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Jansen, Kevin Pillar

Jansen belts 1st career homer against Royals

Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Major League "firsts" are piling up for Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen.

One night after making his MLB debut with a two-hit performance, Jansen added his first homer and RBI with a solo shot to left in the fourth inning against the Royals in a 6-5 win on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Major League "firsts" are piling up for Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen.

One night after making his MLB debut with a two-hit performance, Jansen added his first homer and RBI with a solo shot to left in the fourth inning against the Royals in a 6-5 win on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

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Jansen, ranked as the club's No. 3 prospect and No. 73 in baseball by MLB Pipeline, connected against right-hander Heath Fillmyer to snap a 3-3 tie. Jansen's homer traveled a projected 384 feet, according to Statcast™.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Jansen

Tracking Vlad Jr.'s quest for a .400 season

No. 1 prospect in baseball chases feat not achieved in 57 years
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

As we anticipate the Major League arrival of 19-year-old phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr., let's not allow that anticipation to mask what could be a historic Minor League campaign. Guerrero is chasing a feat that hasn't been accomplished at any level of professional baseball in 57 years: a .400 batting average over a full season.

As we anticipate the Major League arrival of 19-year-old phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr., let's not allow that anticipation to mask what could be a historic Minor League campaign. Guerrero is chasing a feat that hasn't been accomplished at any level of professional baseball in 57 years: a .400 batting average over a full season.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Guerrero, baseball's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has played at four levels within the Blue Jays' system in 2018, and he is hitting .400/.454/.681 with 18 home runs in 77 games. In 61 games for Double-A New Hampshire, he slashed .402/.449/.671 with 14 homers, and since being promoted to Triple-A Buffalo, he's batting .395 (15-for-38) with four homers, all coming in four consecutive games.

Guerrero's high-water mark for the season came on May 25, when he was batting .438. He was hitting .410 on June 6 before missing about five weeks due to a left knee injury. 

The last player to hit .400 or better over a full season, excluding short-season leagues, was the Cubs' Aaron Pointer in 1961. The brother of members of the Pointer Sisters singing group hit .401 in 97 games between Triple-A (four) and Class D (93).

Erubiel Durazo hit .404 between Double-A El Paso and Triple-A Tucson in 1999, but he was promoted to the D-backs in July and didn't hit .400 over the course of the full season, including his big league stats. And Gary Redus hit an MiLB record .462 during his professional debut for Billings in 1978, but that was in the short-season Pioneer League.

Watch: Vlad Jr. homers in 4th straight game

Here's a look at Guerrero's run at a .400 season since he was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo on July 31, at which point he was hitting .401:

Monday, Aug. 14: 1-for-5 vs. Charlotte
Average: .397
Guerrero singled in the third, but that was all he managed on a day that seemed to be friendly to hitters as Buffalo finished with 14 runs on 18 hits.

Sunday, Aug. 12: 0-for-4 vs. Toledo
Average: .400

Guerrero not only saw his streak of four straight games with a homer come to an end, but he went hitless for the fourth time in 12 games with Buffalo after going hitless four times in his previous 52 games.

Saturday, Aug. 11: 2-for-4 vs. Toledo
Average: .406

Guerrero homered in his fourth straight game on, of all nights, Superhero Night at Coca-Cola Field. This one was an opposite-field solo shot in the fourth inning.

Friday, Aug. 10: 1-for-4 vs. Toledo
Average: .406

Though he was only 1-for-4 on this night, Guerrero made his one hit count, launching a solo homer in the first inning during Buffalo's 5-4 victory over Toledo.

Thursday, Aug. 9: 2-for-4 vs. Gwinnett
Average: .407

Guerrero belted a solo homer in the sixth inning, and then singled in the eighth during Buffalo's 9-5 loss to Gwinnett.

Wednesday, Aug. 8: 3-for-4 vs. Gwinnett
Average: .405

With a first-inning double, a third-inning single and a two-run homer in the fifth, Guerrero finished a triple shy of the cycle in Buffalo's 6-1 win over Gwinnett.

Tuesday, Aug. 7: 3-for-4 vs. Gwinnett
Average: .400

Guerrero singled three times in Buffalo's 2-0 loss, beginning a five-game stretch over which he would go 11-for-20 and raise his season batting average from .395 to .406.

Sunday, Aug. 5: 0-for-3 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Average: .395

Guerrero went 0-for-3 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a 6-5 victory, his third hitless game out of the first six games in his Triple-A career.

Saturday, Aug. 4: 2-for-2 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Average: .399

With a walk in the first inning, an RBI single in the third, a walk in the fourth, and another single in the seventh, Guerrero tacked on four points to his average to get it back to the cusp of .400.

Saturday, Aug. 4: 0-for-2 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Average: .395

Though he walked in the sixth inning of a 3-1 loss during the first game of a doubleheader, Guerrero was hitless for the second time in his first four Triple-A games.

Thursday, Aug. 2: 1-for-3 vs. Lehigh Valley
Average: .398

Guerrero went 1-for-3 with a first-inning double and a fifth-inning walk in Buffalo's 6-4 loss to Lehigh Valley.

Wednesday, Aug. 1: 1-for-3 vs. Lehigh Valley
Average: .398

Following a pair of strikeouts, Guerrero picked up his first Triple-A hit with a line-drive single to left field in a 1-0 loss.

Tuesday, July 31: 0-for-1 vs. Lehigh Valley
Average: .399

Guerrero walked in his first three Triple-A plate appearances, then hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to drive in his first Triple-A run before grounding out in the eighth inning of the 11-8 loss. His average dropped below .400 for the first time since May 13.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto gets pitcher Baker to complete Oh swap

MLB.com

The Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker from the Rockies on Tuesday as the player to be named in last month's trade that sent right-hander Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.

Baker, 23, has made 43 relief appearances this season for the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A Advanced California League, posting a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.80 ERA. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has recorded 58 strikeouts in 45 innings this year. Since being selected by Colorado in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft, he has posted a career Minor League record of 14-8 in 80 games, including 13 starts, with a 3.73 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings pitched.

The Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker from the Rockies on Tuesday as the player to be named in last month's trade that sent right-hander Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.

Baker, 23, has made 43 relief appearances this season for the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A Advanced California League, posting a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.80 ERA. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has recorded 58 strikeouts in 45 innings this year. Since being selected by Colorado in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft, he has posted a career Minor League record of 14-8 in 80 games, including 13 starts, with a 3.73 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings pitched.

Toronto Blue Jays

Jansen logs 1st MLB hits in debut vs. Royals

Blue Jays catcher shares special night with family in KC
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- As Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen prepared to make his Major League debut in Monday night's 3-1 loss to the Royals, he was a man in demand.

Jansen made the rounds for a series of interviews and tried to put into perspective just how special the evening at Kauffman Stadium would be for him.

View Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- As Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen prepared to make his Major League debut in Monday night's 3-1 loss to the Royals, he was a man in demand.

Jansen made the rounds for a series of interviews and tried to put into perspective just how special the evening at Kauffman Stadium would be for him.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's still pretty surreal," Jansen said before the opener of a four-game series. "My brother was a baseball player, my dad was a baseball player. I'm glad they can live this through me. After the first catch or the first ball that I block, it's just play ball."

Jansen singled through the left side in his first at-bat against Royals starter Brad Keller and missed getting his first RBI as left fielder Alex Gordon nailed Russell Martin, who was trying to score from second on the play, at the plate to end the inning.

He added a second single in the eighth, a slow roller down the third-base line, off Royals reliever Brandon Maurer. Jansen finished 2-for-3 and he threw out Rosell Herrera trying to steal second.

Video: TOR@KC: Jansen catches Herrera stealing to end 6th

"When I got in the box, I was just trying to breathe and put a barrel on the ball," Jansen said of his first hit. "That's what happened, just found a hole. I couldn't believe it at first as I was rounding first base."

Making the evening all the more meaningful was the fact that Jansen's older brother, Matthew, lives in Kansas City. Matthew Jansen is a school teacher in St. Joseph, Mo., which is a short drive from Kansas City.

"He knew the Blue Jays were coming to Kansas City," Danny Jansen said. "It couldn't have worked out better."

Jansen's parents were able to come down from Wisconsin to see the debut in which Jansen caught right-hander Sean Reid-Foley, who went five innings and took the loss in his Major League debut.

Jansen took comfort in the reassuring words of his Major League teammates.

Tweet from @BlueJays: Did you know? Tonight marks the 1st time in #BlueJays HISTORY that a set of battery mates made their @MLB debuts together. The last time that happened in the AL? 1967! pic.twitter.com/TCFOt2UKFt

"They just told me it's the same game," Jansen said. "The lights are a little brighter and you can see a little better. But it's the same game. That's the best advice I've received."

Worth noting
• After optioning right-hander Danny Barnes to Buffalo on Sunday night, the Blue Jays announced on Monday that right-hander Brandon Compton has been designated for assignment.

Yangervis Solarte's right oblique injury is being called a Grade 2 strain. Solarte is scheduled to be evaluated in three weeks.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Jansen

See the Blue Jays Players' Weekend nicknames

MLB.com @gregorMLB

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Blue Jays will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Blue Jays will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Danny Barnes: "BARNZY"

Barnes will use a variation of his last name but jokes he wishes he had thought to use former teammate Darwin Barney's last name instead.

Joe Biagini: "JOE THE GREAT"

"I would say that I am somewhat of a 'Seinfeld' aficionado," Biagini said. "And in 'Seinfeld' is featured an episode where Jerry demands to be called 'Jerry the Great,' I think it's the one where Elaine is dating the maestro and he prefers to be called that. So first of all, 'Joe the Great' because it is a given, second of all, because I appreciate the greatest show ever made and I wanted to honor it in such a way that only I and probably everyone else could."

Video: Get ready, 2018 Players' Weekend is August 24-26

Ryan Borucki: "BORUCKI"
Tyler Clippard: "CLIP"
Aledmys Diaz: "PAPITO"

"I never had a nickname when I was younger," Diaz said through an interpreter. "I call my son 'Papito,' so for me this weekend is like a family week, and I want this name to mean something to me, so I put 'Papito' because that's how I call my son."

Josh Donaldson: "BRINGER OF RAIN"

Donaldson has said that his nickname was lifted from the TV show "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," in which the gladiator Spartacus defeats a daunting foe in the arena and rain falls on a nation in drought immediately after. Donaldson liked the story and swiped the nickname for his Twitter handle.

Brandon Drury: "DRU"
Marco Estrada: "ESTRATOSPHERE"

"I think fans have said it before and somehow it got back to me," Estrada said. "I kind of liked the way it sounded, so I said I'm going to try it this year."

Jaime Garcia: "JAIMITO"
Sam Gaviglio: "GAVIGLIO"
Ken Giles: "100 MILES GILES"

Giles' name comes from his high-velocity fastball that he uses over 50 percent of the time.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: "YUNITO"

The name comes from his older brother, Yuli Gurriel, and means "little brother" or "little Yuni."

Curtis Granderson: "GRANDYMAN"
Randal Grichuk: "GRICH"
Teoscar Hernandez: "OCA"
Luke Maile: "LUKEY BARRELS"

"It was given to me by [Kevin] Pillar earlier in Spring Training," Maile said. "He told me that we lost 'Joey Bats,' but we gained Lukey Barrels. ... So I went ahead and took it, but some of the guys took it a little bit more seriously than I thought they would, so it just kind of stuck."

Video: Maile announces his Players' Weekend nickname

Russell Martin: "LE MUSCLE"

The Blue Jays' French-Canadian catcher is known for his power and endurance behind the plate, hence the name "Russell Le Muscle."

Kendrys Morales: "MONINA"

"In Cuba, it's like 'friend,'" Morales said through an interpreter. "I've always been called that by everybody, and everybody calls me that, too."

Jake Petricka: "PETEY"
Kevin Pillar: "KP"

Pillar's usual "Superman" nickname was unavailable due to it being trademarked, so Pillar went with a variation of his name. Last year, he wore Superman cleats for Players' Weekend, which could be a possibility for this year.

Aaron Sanchez: "SANCHIZE"

Sanchez's nickname is a play on his last name, but it is also a reflection of his importance to the organization. He earned the nickname during his rise to prominence in the Blue Jays' 2015 run to the American League Championship Series.

Luis Santos: "EL NITO"
Justin Smoak: "MOAKEY"

Some call Smoak "Smoaky," but he says his Latino teammates call him "Moakey," and that's the variation he chose.

Yangervis Solarte: "TUTU"

The name comes from a friend who couldn't pronounce Yangervis, instead he just called him "tutu."

Marcus Stroman: "HDMH"

Stroman has switched from "Stro Show" to "HDMH," his personal motto standing for "Height Doesn't Measure Heart."

Ryan Tepera: "TEP"
Devon Travis: "D-TRAV"
Troy Tulowitzki: "TULO"
Richard Urena: "RICHI"

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays

Reid-Foley has learning curve in loss to KC

Right-hander yields costly 2-run homer in MLB debut
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Blue Jays right-hander Sean Reid-Foley looked in at catcher Danny Jansen before throwing his first Major League pitch and one primary thought crossed Reid-Foley's mind.

"This wasn't [Triple-A] Buffalo anymore," Reid-Foley said. "Jansen looked really small."

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KANSAS CITY -- Blue Jays right-hander Sean Reid-Foley looked in at catcher Danny Jansen before throwing his first Major League pitch and one primary thought crossed Reid-Foley's mind.

"This wasn't [Triple-A] Buffalo anymore," Reid-Foley said. "Jansen looked really small."

View Full Game Coverage

Reid-Foley limited the damage in his MLB debut, but he was overshadowed by Royals starter Brad Keller as the Blue Jays fell, 3-1, on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Reid-Foley needed 97 pitches to get through five innings and left with a two-run deficit. Reid-Foley allowed six hits, with the big blow coming in the second inning on a two-run homer by Ryan O'Hearn.

"I thought he was great," manager John Gibbons said of Reid-Foley's debut. "He battled and was ahead of most hitters. That's a good sign."

Video: TOR@KC: Travis clubs a solo homer in the 1st

The Blue Jays broke on top when Devon Travis hit a solo homer in the first inning. But the Royals answered with O'Hearn's two-run blast and added another run in the fourth on O'Hearn's bases-loaded walk.

"I was nervous," Reid-Foley said. "I was sweating pretty bad and couldn't get a good grip on the ball the first couple of innings. I threw one bad pitch [to O'Hearn] and left it middle-middle. He capitalized on it. And don't walk a guy with the bases loaded. But at the end of the day, I gave up three and tried to keep my team in the game."

Keller worked seven innings and allowed just four hits and the lone run, as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak.

Video: TOR@KC: Jansen singles in his 1st career at-bat

Jansen also made his Major League debut and contributed two singles while throwing out Rosell Herrera trying to steal second.

Video: TOR@KC: Jansen catches Herrera stealing to end 6th

"It was nice to have Danny back there. He has caught me for four years," Reid-Foley said. "Made that debut and now we get back to work."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Longtime catcher Russell Martin played third base for the 11th time on Monday (seventh start) and contributed a fine defensive play to help Reid-Foley get through the third. With a runner at first and two out, Martin dove to his left to glove Salvador Perez's wicked shot. Martin scrambled to his feet and, although his throw was low, a nifty scoop by first baseman Justin Smoak completed the play.

Video: TOR@KC: Martin lays out for stop, fires for the out

SOUND SMART
With Reid-Foley on the mound and Jansen behind the plate, it marked the first time the Blue Jays had starting batterymates each making their MLB debuts. That has only happened five times in Major League Baseball over the past 25 years. The previous time it happened in the American League was on April 14, 1967, when Billy Rohr pitched and Russ Gibson caught for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Video: TOR@KC: Reid-Foley K's Mondesi for his 1st strikeout

HE SAID IT
"A big part of being successful in the Major Leagues is pitching with guys on base. You have to have the confidence to do it and you have to locate the ball. (Reid-Foley) has the stuff to do it. He got in some jams and made some big pitches. That's what you look for." -- Gibbons, reflecting on Reid-Foley's debut

UP NEXT
Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki (2-2, 2.81 ERA) will try to build on recent performances in the second game of the series against the Royals at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Borucki went five innings and allowed nine hits and four runs his last time out against the Red Sox. The Royals will counter with rookie righty Heath Fillmyer (1-1, 3.13).

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Jansen

Pillar sparks Blue Jays with double and hustle

Center fielder eludes tag in close play at plate; blister issue for Stroman
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar didn't even start on Sunday afternoon, but all he needed was one half-inning to make an impact and help the Blue Jays avoid a three-game sweep.

Pillar hit a key pinch-hit double in the bottom of the sixth and later came around to score on an aggressive baserunning play that gave Toronto a lead it would not relinquish in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed one run over five innings before he was forced to leave with a blister on his right middle finger.

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TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar didn't even start on Sunday afternoon, but all he needed was one half-inning to make an impact and help the Blue Jays avoid a three-game sweep.

Pillar hit a key pinch-hit double in the bottom of the sixth and later came around to score on an aggressive baserunning play that gave Toronto a lead it would not relinquish in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed one run over five innings before he was forced to leave with a blister on his right middle finger.

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The Blue Jays' lineup was asleep at the wheel for the third consecutive game until Pillar woke everybody up with his pinch-hit double. That put runners and second and third with nobody out and paved the way for a two-run rally that was all the Blue Jays would need to win for just the second time over their last seven games.

Video: TB@TOR: Stroman goes five strong innings, leaves hurt

"A day off is good once in a while, but every time you step onto the field you have an opportunity to do something out there to help your team win," Pillar said. "Especially with the Rays, the way they use their bullpen, the way they match up, you knew it was only a matter of time.

"You kind of have to think along with the manager, with the bench coach, you see the lefty warming up for Grandy, and you figure it's only a matter of time before I get in there."

Video: TB@TOR: Gibbons on team's 2-1 comeback win

The 29-year-old Pillar initially was scheduled for a rare day off in the series finale. Randal Grichuk got the start in center field but when the Rays turned to lefty reliever Jose Alvarado in the sixth inning, manager John Gibbons lifted right fielder Curtis Granderson from the game in favor of Pillar. With Luke Maile on first after drawing a leadoff walk, the count went to 1-1 before Pillar ripped a double into the left-field corner to set up Toronto's best scoring opportunity of the day. 

Video: TB@TOR: Travis knocks in a run on single to center

Devon Travis followed with an RBI single to score Maile and tie the game at 1, and then Pillar used his speed to put the Blue Jays in front. Grichuk hit a little dribbler out in front of the plate, but when Rays catcher Michael Perez threw to first, Pillar made a mad dash for home. He dove head first and appeared to touch home plate at almost the exact time that pitcher Ryne Stanek applied the tag.

With Stroman out after five innings, Gibbons turned to five relievers to close out the game with four scoreless innings. Jaime Garcia, Danny Barnes, Tyler Clippard and Ryan Tepera combined to allow just one hit and a walk over three innings while right-hander Ken Giles picked up his 13th save of the season and first since joining the Blue Jays by tossing a scoreless ninth.

Video: TB@TOR: Giles K's Adames to pick up the save

"I think he has done a nice job for us, he has the arm obviously," Gibbons said. "That's big. 2-1 game, he's still settling into his new home. Our whole bullpen, Clipp came in to get a big out when they had two guys on. Tep had a pretty easy inning, he has been battling a little bit."

THE BLISTER IS BACK
Stroman left midway through the game because of a lingering blister issue on his right middle finger. The 27-year-old allowed five hits and threw just 76 pitches before he was taken out of the game. Stroman was spotted looking at his finger throughout the fifth inning, and a close-up during a broadcast on Sportsnet also showed the blister, which appeared to have popped open.

Video: TB@TOR: Stroman leaves start with blister injury

This was the second consecutive start that Stroman had to leave early because of the blister. Stroman left a start against Boston on Tuesday after seven innings because of the same problem, and it has been a recurring issue dating back to last season.

"It is what it is," Stroman said. "I'm a competitor. I'm going to get through it. I'm going to make my starts. I'm not going to miss starts at this point. It's something that I'm going to get through. My body and arm are feeling great, that's the most frustrating part. My pitches feel great.

"I had to essentially go to two pitches today. I just threw sinker, cutter, today because I couldn't put pressure on my curveball or slider. But I feel good, man, just hoping it gets better over the next few days."

Video: TB@TOR: Stroman snags comebacker in the 1st inning

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rays challenged the safe call on Pillar's slide at home, but it was ruled that the call stood, which means there was not enough video evidence to either confirm or overturn the call.

"We have limited camera views here at Rogers Centre, maybe that helped us out a little bit there," Pillar said. "It's always nice when you're called safe in a bang-bang play like that. You need some overwhelming evidence to call someone out. With multiple camera angles, bodies being in the way, it makes it even more difficult to overturn something. You hold your breath a little bit and hope the call stands."

Video: TB@TOR: Pillar beats throw to plate for go-ahead run

SOUND SMART
The Blue Jays snapped a streak of 18 games without recording a save. The streak was tied for the 10th longest in franchise history.

BARNES GOING DOWN
The Blue Jays have yet to make it official but right-hander Danny Barnes will be optioned to the Minor Leagues before Monday's series opener in Kansas City. The move is to create space on the 25-man roster for right-hander Sean Reid-Foley, who is scheduled to start Monday vs. the Royals. Barnes retired the first two batters he faced on Sunday afternoon but then allowed the next two to reach base before he was pulled for Clippard.

UP NEXT
Reid-Foley will make his Major League debut when the Blue Jays open a four-game series against the Royals on Monday at Kauffman Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET. Reid-Foley, who is ranked Toronto's No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline, went 7-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Buffalo prior to his promotion. Kansas City will counter with right-hander Brad Keller (4-5, 3.57).

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Kevin Pillar, Marcus Stroman

What to expect from Jansen in big leagues

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

The Toronto Blue Jays promoted catcher Danny Jansen to the Major Leagues ahead of Sunday's series finale against Tampa Bay. He was added to active roster in place of Yangervis Solarte, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique prior to Sunday's contest.

Jansen, the Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect and No. 73 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, earned his first big league callup after a strong campaign at the Triple-A level. Over 88 games with Buffalo, the 23-year-old batted .275/.390/.473 with a career-high 12 home runs and 58 RBIs.

The Toronto Blue Jays promoted catcher Danny Jansen to the Major Leagues ahead of Sunday's series finale against Tampa Bay. He was added to active roster in place of Yangervis Solarte, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique prior to Sunday's contest.

Jansen, the Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect and No. 73 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, earned his first big league callup after a strong campaign at the Triple-A level. Over 88 games with Buffalo, the 23-year-old batted .275/.390/.473 with a career-high 12 home runs and 58 RBIs.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

A 16th-round pick in 2013 Draft out of the Wisconsin prep ranks who signed for $100,000, Jansen was beset by injuries early in his career. After logging 74 games across a pair of Rookie levels, during his first two seasons, he advanced to Class A Lansing in 2015, but he ultimately appeared in just 46 games after a broken bone in his left hand had cost him four months.

Assigned to Class A Advanced Dunedin the following year, Jansen once again missed considerable time with a left hand injury, spending nearly two months on the shelf after he suffered a broken hamate bone. It limited him to just 54 games in the Florida State League, during which he batted just .218.

Finally healthy in 2017, Jansen put forth a breakout campaign, hitting .323/.400/.484 while excelling across three levels including Triple-A Buffalo. He showed especially well at the Minors highest level, too, hitting .328/.423/.552 over 21 games with the Bisons.

More important, Jansen crossed the 100-games-played threshold for the first time in his career in 2017 after totaling 184 games during his first four pro seasons -- 100 of which had come at full-season levels.

Jansen had continued to make developmental strides this season in his return to the Triple-A level, earning International League midseason All-Star honors, and he also showcased his potential to a national audience by hitting a two-run home run for the U.S. squad during the prestigious SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park in July.

Video: WLD@USA: Jansen clubs a two-run homer to left field

From a scouting perspective, Jansen has worked hard towards becoming a well-rounded backstop, though it's likely that he'll always offer more value at the plate than behind it.

After continually tweaking his hitting mechanics early in his career with little success, Jansen reverted back to an older, simpler swing at the outset of the 2017 season, and he subsequently found his groove as a hitter, showing a knack for making consistent line-drive contact across the entire field from the right side of the plate. A .302 hitter over 192 Minor League games from 2017-18, he projects for an above-average bat in the big leagues, one capable of producing a .280-plus average with perennially high on-base rates thanks to his patient approach.

That approach stems from Jansen's advanced feel for controlling the strike zone, as he walked at a higher clip (10.4 percent) than he struck out (9.4) during his breakout 2017 campaign en route to an on-base percentage of .400. He improved his walk rate to 12.5 percent this season in his first full Triple-A campaign, and did so while striking out at a 13.6 percent clip.

Jansen's ability to hit for power is the one component of his offensive game that's yet to truly develop. He has made gains in that department in the past two seasons, though, setting career highs with 10 and 12 home runs in back-to-back years, respectively. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder's combination of bat speed and physical strength yields above-average raw power to his pull side, and some evaluators believe he'll tap into it frequently enough to become a 12- to 15-homer threat annually as a big leaguer.

Defensively, Jansen has made impressive strides in his blocking, receiving and framing since signing, although his catch-and-throw skills may never be better than average. He threw out 24 percent of attempted basestealers in 2017 and had a similar success rate (23 percent) this season in Triple-A prior to his promotion. There is concern that Jansen will be challenged even more on that front as a big leaguer, though some scouts do believe that Jansen still has room for improvement after losing key developmental time early in his career.

Jansen's promotion to the big leagues now gives the Blue Jays three catchers on their 25-man roster, although Russell Martin is expected to see increased reps at both second and third base in Solarte's absence. That could lead to more opportunities behind the plate for Jansen, who's expected to share time with Martin's current backup, Luke Maile. Martin's $20 million salary for next season does cloud Jansen's outlook a bit, but there's reason to believe that the young backstop would benefit under the tutelage of the veteran Martin.

At the least, Jansen's solid tools on both sides of the ball point to a career as a big league backup who offers the bulk of his value by hitting for average and reaching base at a high clip. But given his aptitude for making adjustments, there's a real possibility that he'll surpass that somewhat conservative projection and develop into an everyday catcher at the highest level.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Toronto Blue Jays

McKinney breaks out of slump for Buffalo

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

A couple of Braves pitching prospects showed why the organization's farm system is so highly touted as Kyle Wright led Triple-A Gwinnett to a 6-0 win over Louisville and Huascar Ynoa lifted Class A Advanced Florida to a 3-1 win over St. Lucie.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

A couple of Braves pitching prospects showed why the organization's farm system is so highly touted as Kyle Wright led Triple-A Gwinnett to a 6-0 win over Louisville and Huascar Ynoa lifted Class A Advanced Florida to a 3-1 win over St. Lucie.

The duo combined for 15 strikeouts over 13 scoreless innings, while only surrendering a pair of hits.

Wright, the Braves' No. 2 prospect (No. 24 overall), turned in his best performance since making his Triple-A debut on Aug. 3. The right-hander, a first-round pick from the 2017 Draft, cruised through seven scoreless frames.

Wright threw 56 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walked one and only gave up one hit.

Wright finishes with a strikeout

Meanwhile, Ynoa, who gave up nine runs in one inning in his last start, came through with a much-needed bounce back. The 20-year-old also gave up just one hit and struck out seven over six scoreless innings.

Other top prospect performances from Monday's action:

• No. 3 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 1) only had one hit, but certainly made it count as he blasted a three-run homer to highlight a five-run fifth inning for Triple-A Charlotte. Jimenez, who finished 1-for-4, has gone deep five times over the past 11 games and is hitting .351 through 35 games with Triple-A Charlotte.

Jimenez hits a three-run homer

• No. 21 overall prospect Francisco Mejia (Padres' No. 3) hit his second homer since joining Triple-A El Paso. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and is hitting .298 in the 16 games since he was acquired from the Indians.

Watch: Mejia goes yard

Athletics No. 5 prospect Austin Beck fell a homer short of the cycle, but still had a big game for Class A Beloit. Beck, the A's first-round pick from 2017, went 3-for-4 with a trio of RBIs as he boosted his average to .292.

Blue Jays No. 19 prospect Billy McKinney broke out of a recent slump with his first multihit game since July 31. In Triple-A Buffalo's win over Charlotte, McKinney finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Both of McKinney's hits went for extra bases as he hit his 14th homer and seventh triple of the season.

McKinney goes yard

Cardinals No. 8 prospect Elehuris Montero has been red-hot since he was promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Aug. 7. After his 3-for-5 performance, Montero has a hit in all six games since his promotion and is hitting .385. The 19-year-old also hit his first homer since the promotion and has an extra-base hit in three straight games.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Cubs No. 25 prospect Erling Moreno spun seven innings of one-run ball in his fifth straight quality start for Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes as he struck out four and gave up five hits. Moreno didn't allow a run in his last start and has given up just one run over his last 13 2/3 innings.

Phillies No. 19 prospect Spencer Howard picked up his eighth win of the season with six solid innings for Class A Lakewood. The 2017 second-round pick yielded one run on four hits, struck out eight and didn't issue a walk. Howard has given up just one earned run over his last three starts (15 innings) and has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his past six starts.

Rangers prospects Bubba Thompson (No. 10) and Tyler Phillips (No. 14) put forth strong efforts for Class A Hickory. Thompson hit his sixth homer of the season as part of a 3-for-4, two-RBI day and Phillips threw five scoreless innings. The right-hander gave up five hits, struck out two and hasn't allowed a run in either of his past two starts (12 innings).

Royals No. 14 prospect Kyle Isbel, the organization's third-round pick from the 2018 Draft, stayed hot with his third straight multihit game for Class A Lexington. Isbel hit his sixth homer of the year as part of a 3-for-4 night and is 10-for-20 over his past five games. While Isbel was raking, Yefri Del Rosario (No. 24) was putting up zeros on the scoreboard. The right-hander fired six innings, walked one, gave up two hits and fanned five.

Watch: Isbel goes yard

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Vladdy on Pipeline PTOW for record 5th time

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

A strained patellar tendon in his left knee sidelined Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for five weeks, and that's apparently the only way to stop baseball's best prospect from hitting. Since coming back in mid-July, the Blue Jays third baseman has breezed through a four-game rehab assignment, homered three times in seven games when he returned to Double-A and laughed at Triple-A pitching.

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

A strained patellar tendon in his left knee sidelined Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for five weeks, and that's apparently the only way to stop baseball's best prospect from hitting. Since coming back in mid-July, the Blue Jays third baseman has breezed through a four-game rehab assignment, homered three times in seven games when he returned to Double-A and laughed at Triple-A pitching.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Just 19, Guerrero homered in four straight contests last week, batted .458/.458/1.000 in six games overall and claimed his record fifth Prospect Team of the Week accolade of 2018. That's a single-season record since we started the PTOW in 2015, eclipsing AJ Reed ('15), Kyle Schwarber ('15), Gary Sanchez ('16) and Brendan Rodgers ('17), who each had four mentions.

Guerrero also notched the sixth PTOW honor of his career, leaving him one behind Lewis Brinson, Tyler O'Neill and Rodgers for the most all-time. He leads the Minors in hitting (.400), slugging (.681), OPS (1.135) and ranks second in on-base percentage (.454).

Below is the complete PTOW, based on games from Aug. 6-12:

2018 Prospect Teams of the Week

C: Deon Stafford, West Virginia Power (low Class A)
(Pirates' No. 30 prospect)
.364/.400/.773, 6 G, 22 AB, 8 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO

Stafford drove in six runs on Saturday, snapping a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning and then swatting a grand slam in the ninth. His big night propelled him to his second PTOW of the year and improved his season line to .267/.326/.445 with eight homers in 76 games.

1B: Michael Chavis, Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A)
(Red Sox's No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 99)
.560/.593/.880, 6 G, 25 AB, 7 R, 14 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 7 SO, 1 SB

Chavis placed third in the Minors with 68 extra-base hits and fifth with 31 homers in 2017, and he's back slugging after serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance during the offseason. He homered twice on Thursday, topped all Minor Leaguers with 14 hits last week and is batting .309/.404/.556 with five homers in 22 Double-A games.

2B: Bret Boswell, Lancaster JetHawks (Class A Advanced)
(Rockies' No. 29 prospect)
.409/.464/.955, 6 G, 22 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 10 SO, 1 SB

Lancaster might be the most favorable hitting enviroment in the Minors and Boswell has taken advantage since his July 31 promotion, going deep twice on Wednesday and collecting four hits on Thursday. Between two Class A stops, he's batting .295/.338/.526 with 22 homers in 108 games during his first full pro season.

3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A)
(Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 1)
.458/.458/1.000, 6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 1 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SO

Guerrero is now batting .395/.489/.763 through 12 Triple-A games after hitting .402/.449/.671 in Double-A. He has as many homers as strikeouts (four) in Triple-A and has whiffed in just 9.8 percent of his overall plate appearances -- and remember he's just 19. Guerrero's career line: .333/.417/.534 with 109 extra-base hits, 139 walks and 129 strikeouts in 258 games.

Watch: Vlad Jr. goes yard

SS: Wander Franco, Princeton Rays (Rookie)
(Rays' No. 4 prospect/MLB No. 40)
.500/.571/.708, 6 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SO

The youngest and best of the three brothers named Wander Franco currently playing in the Minors, he was the top international amateur on the 2017 market. Making his pro debut at age 17, he has reached base in 40 consecutive games and collected at least one hit and one RBI in each of his six games last week to make the PTOW for the second time. Franco is the second-youngest regular in the Appalachian League and tops the circuit in batting, hits (65), total bases (108) and RBIs (45) while hitting .367/.421/.610 with eight homers in 44 games.

OF: Austin Dean, New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A)
(Marlins' No. 29 prospect)
.647/.700/1.353, 5 G, 17 AB, 7 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO

Dean was arguably the hottest hitter in the Minors last week, leading everyone in slugging (1.353) and OPS (2.053) while ranking second in batting (.647) and third in on-base percentage (.700). He already has established career highs in most categories this year, posting a combined .346/.412/.514 line with 12 homers in 108 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Watch: Dean blasts off

OF: Alek Thomas, Missoula Osprey (Rookie)
(D-backs' No. 6 prospect)
.467/.600/1.000, 4 G, 15 AB, 10 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SO

A second-round pick in June, Thomas hit his first professional home run on Thursday and went deep again on Sunday, part of a week in which he reached bases 12 times in four games and led all Minor Leaguers with 10 runs. He's hitting .348/.417/.484 in 37 games between two Rookie levels.

Watch: Thomas rips double

OF: Kyle Tucker, Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A)
(Astros' No. 2 prospect/MLB No. 8)
.471/.471/1.059, 4 G, 17 AB, 8 R, 8 H ,1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SO, 2 SB

Tucker began the week by homering in three consecutive games and finished it in Houston after getting called up to replace the injured Jake Marisnick. His second PTOW mention of 2018 is the sixth of his career, tying him with J.D. Davis, Guerrero and Jordan Patterson for one shy of the all-time lead. Tucker is batting .311/.373/.532 with 17 homers and 17 steals in 89 games, though he's just 7-for-48 (.146) in the big leagues.

Watch: Tucker connects on homer

LHP: Joe Palumbo, Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced)
(Rangers' No. 8 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 0.40 WHIP

Palumbo had his best outing since having Tommy John surgery in 2017, striking out 11 of the 18 batters he faced in five scoreless innings on Tuesday. He now has a 3.52 ERA, 40/4 K/BB ratio and .225 opponent average in 30 2/3 innings between Rookie ball and high Class A.

RHP: Deivi Garcia, Tampa Tarpons (Class A Advanced)
(Yankees' No. 12 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 SO, 0.00 WHIP

Garcia would have had a perfect game in the nightcap of a doubleheader last Monday, but Tampa couldn't score and lost both the perfecto and the game thanks to an error in the eighth inning. Just 19, he's having no trouble handling Class A hitters, logging a 3.10 ERA, 82/13 K/BB ratio and a .176 opponent average in 52 1/3 innings between two stops.

RP: Jose Ruiz, Birmingham Barons (Double-A)
(White Sox No. 24 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 SV, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 0.00 WHIP

The White Sox claimed Ruiz off waivers from the Padres last December and may have gotten a steal. He retired all nine batters he faced last week, four via strikeouts, and has a 3.20 ERA, 70/18 K/BB ratio and .184 opponent average in 50 2/3 innings between high Class A and Double-A.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Solarte to DL; 2 top prospects join Blue Jays

Catcher Jansen recalled; righty Reid-Foley expected to start Monday
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' youth movement is underway, and while it doesn't involve Vladimir Guerrero Jr., it does include two other highly regarded prospects.

Toronto recalled catcher Danny Jansen from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday morning when infielder Yangervis Solarte was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley also unofficially joined the big league club and is expected to start Monday in Kansas City.

View Full Game Coverage

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' youth movement is underway, and while it doesn't involve Vladimir Guerrero Jr., it does include two other highly regarded prospects.

Toronto recalled catcher Danny Jansen from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday morning when infielder Yangervis Solarte was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley also unofficially joined the big league club and is expected to start Monday in Kansas City.

View Full Game Coverage

Jansen, who was not in Sunday's starting lineup, is the Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was having an impressive season for the Bisons, with a .275/.390/.473 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs in 88 games. Jansen is generally regarded as Toronto's catcher of the future, and he'll likely be behind the plate for Reid-Foley's debut on Monday.

Video: TB@TOR: Solarte exits game with injury after a swing

"It's like something I've never felt before, it was an amazing feeling," said Jansen, who was informed of the promotion when he was pulled during the ninth inning of Buffalo's game on Saturday night.

"It really sunk in when I called my parents and got to talk to them, some tears came out, everyone's happy, everyone's excited about it, and my brother actually lives in Kansas City, so it's a pretty awesome moment."

Video: WLD@USA: Jansen clubs a two-run homer to left field

Reid-Foley is Toronto's No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline. He has yet to be placed on the 25-man roster, but the 2014 second-round Draft pick was in attendance for Sunday's series finale against the Rays. Reid-Foley was 7-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 starts at Buffalo.

The 22-year-old takes the spot of right-hander Mike Hauschild, who was optioned to Buffalo earlier this week following a start against the Red Sox. Toronto will have to make an additional roster move on Monday to make room for Reid-Foley on the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

"Something that we harped on every day and worked on was fastball command," said Reid-Foley, who posted a 5.09 ERA last season but has been much better in 2018. "Down and away to each hitter and getting over the baseball.

"Once I started to get better at that and kept doing it and repeating it, it definitely showed and helped with the results that I was getting. Even whenever it was going, we never got away from it. We would always work on it."

Video: Top Prospects: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays

Solarte is going on the DL after he was removed from Saturday's 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay in the second inning. The versatile infielder took an awkward swing, then fell to one knee before he was taken out of the game by Blue Jays trainer Nikki Huffman.

The Blue Jays now have three catchers on the 25-man roster, but Russell Martin is expected to see some time at third base during Solarte's absence, which will create more playing time for Jansen. Richard Urena remains in his backup infielder role, and he continues to be a candidate for third base as well.

Jansen and Reid-Foley join lefty starter Ryan Borucki and injured infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as the group of top Toronto prospects who have made the jump to the Major Leagues this season. Jansen's familiarity with Reid-Foley and Borucki should help ease him into the Majors as he learns everyone else's arsenal.

"It means a lot that these guys are here," Jansen said. "Hopefully I can be with those guys and get to work with them and make it a little easier for me especially because I know those guys so well, and I know that they know me so well.

"There will be a little bit of comfort there and of course, it's every kid's dream to be with each other, to be with good friends in the big leagues together. So of course we talked about it, but now it's happening, so it's amazing."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Jansen, Sean Reid-Foley, Yangervis Solarte