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Blue Jays to keep Brito, Hanson on roster

Urena optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Buchholz
@gregorMLB
April 13, 2019

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are sticking with the recently acquired duo of Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson on the 25-man roster. Toronto had to make a roster move prior to Saturday afternoon's game vs. the Rays to create space for starter Clay Buchholz. It had been a foregone conclusion

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are sticking with the recently acquired duo of Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson on the 25-man roster.

Toronto had to make a roster move prior to Saturday afternoon's game vs. the Rays to create space for starter Clay Buchholz. It had been a foregone conclusion that a position player would be on his way out and in the end it was the Minor League player with options remaining on his contract.

The Blue Jays optioned utility infielder Richard Urena to Triple-A Buffalo, despite the fact that he has been one of the club's hottest hitters, in a small sample size this season. The move was made to ensure neither Hanson nor Brito would be exposed to waivers, less than two weeks after the recent trade of Kevin Pillar.

"It's almost too short to even respond," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said when asked to evaluate the new duo. "Different reactions on each guy, but different experiences too. Alen has a little bit more Major League experience and Socrates, what has stood out, is that there is incredible, incredible upside and potential with him.

"Alen has seemed slightly more at ease in this environment. Confident that they have great staff and great teammates around to them help, to hopefully help their transitions go well here."

Brito wasn't in the Blue Jays' starting lineup for Saturday's 3-1 win, and in 14 at-bats with Toronto this season has yet to register a hit. Hanson, who started in right field on Saturday, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but has experienced a bit more success as he entered the game with three hits in 15 at-bats. With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set to be promoted in the near future, the clock might be ticking, but at least for now, they're safe.

Urena became the odd man out mostly because of the fact he could be sent to the Minors without passing through waivers. The 23-year-old has eight hits in 24 at-bats this season.

"As it relates to Socrates, it's more what our scouts have seen and what his track record has been," Atkins said when asked about Brito's performance. "For us to react to, I think he has 13 or 14 at-bats with us, would be a mistake. Even he would tell you they haven't been ideal for him.

"He's had hard contact a couple of times. Exciting to see how well he moves down the line, exciting to see him close gaps in the outfield. He has plenty to throw with. He's very strong, physical, he has unique skill sets that hopefully we can help him tap into."

Miscommunication

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo admits he made a mistake during Friday night's series opener vs. Tampa Bay when he declined to challenge a close play at third base in the eighth inning of an 11-7 loss.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis was called out at third base after he tried to advance on a ball in the dirt. Replays later showed that Galvis appeared to avoid the tag, but the initial signal from Toronto's replay crew was that it would not be worth challenging.

The following day, Montoyo admitted the Blue Jays are taking another look at the process they undertake before deciding whether to proceed with a challenge. They missed a prime opportunity on Friday and they want to make sure it does not happen again.

"We're still reviewing it, our process said no, but I should have just challenged it," Montoyo said. "That's on me."

Quotable

"That wasn't good baserunning by either one. That's going to happen during the year. As coaches you tell the guys, that's just not a good play." -- Montoyo, when asked about Urena getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double and Galvis getting thrown out at third.

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