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Inbox: Tellez Toronto's future first baseman?

Beat reporter Gregor Chisholm answers questions from Blue Jays fans
MLB.com

Rowdy Tellez has given me a reason to be excited about the Blue Jays again. Is he going to be the first baseman next year?
-- Francis K., Sudbury, Ontario

Manager John Gibbons put it best on Sunday when he said that Tellez might be the first baseman of the future, but Justin Smoak is the first baseman of the present, and that's unlikely to change before the start of next season. Smoak is all but officially guaranteed to have his $8 million option picked up for 2019, and there's every reason to believe he will be at first base on Opening Day.

Rowdy Tellez has given me a reason to be excited about the Blue Jays again. Is he going to be the first baseman next year?
-- Francis K., Sudbury, Ontario

Manager John Gibbons put it best on Sunday when he said that Tellez might be the first baseman of the future, but Justin Smoak is the first baseman of the present, and that's unlikely to change before the start of next season. Smoak is all but officially guaranteed to have his $8 million option picked up for 2019, and there's every reason to believe he will be at first base on Opening Day.

Could that change? Sure. The Blue Jays are in asset-building mode, and if another team makes a competitive offer this winter, it's something Toronto obviously would consider. But the club is not going to force a deal just to make room for Tellez. A more realistic scenario would see Smoak start the year in Toronto and then become a trade candidate midway through the season.

Let's also not forget that Tellez, the Blue Jays' No. 29 prospect, is just 23 years old. There's room for improvement with the .765 OPS he posted in 112 games for Triple-A Buffalo, and repeating that level for another couple of months is not a bad idea. Tellez provides protection if Smoak or Kendrys Morales gets hurt, and he would be in position to take over later in the year if the numbers justify it.

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What do you think the starting rotation is going to look like next season?
-- Pierre C., Gatineau, Quebec

Spring Training is shaping up to be a good old fashioned competition for the back end of Toronto's rotation. Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and in all likelihood, Ryan Borucki will enter camp with guaranteed jobs, and it's realistic to expect that the Blue Jays will add another starter through trade or free agency this offseason. That would leave one job up for grabs and there will be a whole slew of arms in the mix.

Sean Reid-Foley, Sam Gaviglio, Jacob Waguespack, Thomas Pannone and the soon-to-arrive Julian Merryweather should all get a look in camp. David Paulino seems destined for the bullpen, but he could receive some consideration as well, while other top prospects such as T.J. Zeuch and Jordan Romano should start the year in the Minors and could become options later in the season.

Considering the rebuild, doesn't it make sense to trade Sanchez and Stroman this offseason? Toronto waited too long to trade Josh Donaldson, I hope they don't repeat the same mistake.
-- Will L., Mississauga, Ontario

It seems almost inevitable that Stroman and Sanchez will eventually be dealt. Both starters have two years of control remaining and the front office is on record talking about a three-year pathway to getting back into contention. The timelines don't match up, and unless there is an unexpected extension in the coming months, this situation should eventually result in a trade.

The odds of a deal this winter, though, still aren't great because the Blue Jays have to believe Sanchez and Stroman are worth a lot more than what their current market values might suggest. Stroman and Sanchez have been limited to 19 and 18 starts, respectively, this season because of various injuries and both have ERAs over 5.00. Trading them now would be selling low on a pair of high-ceiling arms, and their stocks could easily rise with a strong first half.

Do you think Jays will keep Yangervis Solarte next season or will they trade him?
-- @Takito09

The Blue Jays project to have a really crowded infield next season, and it's hard to envision a role for Solarte. Let's assume for a minute that Troy Tulowitzki makes it back next season and begins the year as Toronto's starting shortstop. That would leave Brandon Drury as the Opening Day starter at third, while Aledmys Diaz, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Devon Travis are all candidates for second.

Complicating matters further, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should take over third by the end of April, which would then move Drury into a super utility role. Even if Tulowitzki isn't healthy, with Diaz, Gurriel and Richard Urena all options at shortstop, there's more than enough depth to go around. The Blue Jays have a $5.5 million club option on Solarte's contract for next year, and if that gets picked up it's likely to facilitate a trade. He's probably not the only player from this group who gets shopped, either.

There's a lot of young talent on this roster. Am I crazy to think the Blue Jays might clear .500 next year?
-- @MatthewElmslie

Finishing at .500 seems a little bit optimistic, but I can understand why you would think that. The Rays weren't supposed to do much of anything this season, but they've battled with a young core and entered play on Monday 14 games above .500. Tampa Bay is known for being a scrappy team that often exceeds expectations, and that's something the Blue Jays could strive to become in 2019.

That's the upside, but more growing pains should be expected. Young talent is exciting to watch, but it also comes with a lot of uncertainty, so next year should be a lot of trial and error. General manager Ross Atkins previously said expectations will rise by 2020 with the hopes of becoming a legitimate contender in '21. Next year is all about development and more veteran players could be dealt midway through the season, so while .500 is possible, it's also a little bit aggressive.

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, Rowdy Tellez

Tellez sets MLB mark with doubles in first 3 PAs

Blue Jays first baseman collects 3 hits, RBI in loss to Indians
MLB.com

TORONTO -- Rowdy Tellez's Major League debut became such a feel-good story around the Major Leagues that it seemed rather fitting the Blue Jays first baseman returned the following day for an encore performance. The second one turned out to be even better than the first.

Tellez made MLB history by doubling in each of his first two at-bats in Thursday night's 9-4 loss to the Indians at Rogers Centre. He became the first player of the live ball era (since 1920) to record extra-base hits in each of his first three career plate appearances. Tellez even added another double in his final at-bat to finish the day 3-for-4 with an RBI. Not bad for a first week on the job.

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TORONTO -- Rowdy Tellez's Major League debut became such a feel-good story around the Major Leagues that it seemed rather fitting the Blue Jays first baseman returned the following day for an encore performance. The second one turned out to be even better than the first.

Tellez made MLB history by doubling in each of his first two at-bats in Thursday night's 9-4 loss to the Indians at Rogers Centre. He became the first player of the live ball era (since 1920) to record extra-base hits in each of his first three career plate appearances. Tellez even added another double in his final at-bat to finish the day 3-for-4 with an RBI. Not bad for a first week on the job.

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The 23-year-old finally has something to celebrate after being on an emotional rollercoaster for the better part of two seasons. Tellez lost his mother in August after a long and arduous battle with cancer, but her presence was felt on Wednesday night after her son came through with a pinch-hit double in his first career plate appearance. After Tellez reached second base, he pointed to the sky and later wrote her name in the infield dirt and admitted after the game it took all his will power not to start crying on the field.

"It still doesn't feel real being here," Tellez said on Thursday night. "Childhood dreams are achieved and it's a great feeling. I'm ecstatic to be here. It's a great clubhouse and makes it really easy to be here and very comfortable."

Video: CLE@TOR: Gibbons on McGuire's debut, Tellez's success

The only thing missing from the memorable debut was Tellez's father, who was not in attendance for the series finale against the Rays because of a delayed flight to Toronto. Tellez instead picked his father up at the airport later that night and he was in attendance on Thursday as his son made history. First it was a single to left-center field in the second inning, then it was a double off the wall in left-center field during the fourth inning.

Tellez's playing time is expected to be somewhat limited over the final three weeks of the season. Justin Smoak is the starter at first and Kendrys Morales will still get regular at-bats as the designated hitter, but the Blue Jays felt it was important to reward Tellez for a strong season at Triple-A Buffalo and to begin acclimatizing him to the big leagues. The decision has been met with some immediate benefits and should pay off at some point next year when Tellez gets a longer look.

"He's the new cult hero in town," manager John Gibbons said of Tellez. "A great night at the plate. How many doubles does he have now? Four? He's already in the record books."

Outside of Tellez, the only real bright spots on offense for the Blue Jays came during a four-run fourth inning off Indians right-hander Shane Bieber. Teoscar Hernandez had a two-run double and Aledmys Diaz brought home another run when he reached first base on an error. Bieber picked up the win despite allowing the four runs, three earned, on seven hits and a walk while striking out six.

Video: CLE@TOR: Hernandez smashes a 2-run double to center

Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio was charged with the loss. He was staked to a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning, but he then allowed three consecutive hits in the fifth before getting chased from the game. Gaviglio allowed five runs on six hits while striking out four over 4 1/3 innings. Toronto has now lost three of its last four games at home, but what's clear is that the youth movement is in full effect.

"It definitely makes it more comfortable, easier to adjust to the level," Tellez said in reference to making his debut alongside a lot of other September call-ups. "I've pretty much played with half of these guys at some point. It's a pretty good group of guys and they make everything lax and easier for us young guys."

MAKING HISTORY
Catcher Reese McGuire made his Major League debut behind the plate and right-hander David Paulino made his Blue Jays debut out of the bullpen with a scoreless eighth inning. With the latest additions to the roster, Toronto has used a franchise-record 62 players this season. The Blue Jays have gone through 36 pitchers this season, which surpasses their previous high of 34 in 2012. The only roster record left to break relates to the starting rotation. The club has used 14 starting pitchers this season, which is tied for the most in franchise history. Toronto also used 14 starters in '17. More >

Video: CLE@TOR: McGuire smashes double off wall for 1st hit

Paulino was part of the return package in the deal that sent closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The 24-year-old allowed a leadoff infield single to Edwin Encarnacion, before retiring the next three batters he faced. Paulino flashed a mid-90s fastball, a plus changeup, and he even found a way to work in a couple of curves and sliders. He struck out Melky Cabrera and Yonder Alonso in the impressive inning of work. McGuire picked up his first Major League hit in the ninth inning with a double.

"Really good first inning," Gibbons said. "He has a very good changeup. I saw some good breaking balls. Those big, tall, lanky guys, it's never a comfortable at-bat. They'll let one fly every now and then. It's tough to zero them in. ... Real good stuff and it was good to get him back out there, because he had been banged up for a while."

Video: CLE@TOR: Paulino fans Alonso for 1st K with Blue Jays

SOUND SMART
Outfielder Billy McKinney led off the game with a single to left field, which extended his on-base streak to 15 games. That is tied for the third-longest such streak to start a career for the Blue Jays. Dave Martinez had a 24-game streak in 2000, Roy Howell did it for 18 games in 1977, while David Segui (1999) and Shea Hillenbrand (2005) both did it 15 times.

UP NEXT
Veteran right-hander Marco Estrada (7-11, 5.43 ERA) will take the mound at 7:07 p.m. ET on Friday as the series against the Indians continues at Rogers Centre. Estrada has been plagued by a lingering back issue in recent starts and it played a role in his previous outing, which saw him allow six runs over 4 1/3 innings against the Marlins. Cleveland will counter with righty Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 3.52 ERA).

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, Rowdy Tellez

McGuire enjoys fine MLB debut for Blue Jays

Rookie catcher logs double, throws out runner at second base
MLB.com

TORONTO -- Reese McGuire became the latest Blue Jays rookie to enjoy a successful debut when he doubled during the ninth inning of a 9-4 loss to the Indians on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

McGuire was officially promoted from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the day, but his family had advance warning and was able to schedule a trip in time for his first big league game. They were rewarded by getting to see McGuire start behind the plate and close out his night with a double off the wall.

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TORONTO -- Reese McGuire became the latest Blue Jays rookie to enjoy a successful debut when he doubled during the ninth inning of a 9-4 loss to the Indians on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

McGuire was officially promoted from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the day, but his family had advance warning and was able to schedule a trip in time for his first big league game. They were rewarded by getting to see McGuire start behind the plate and close out his night with a double off the wall.

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The positive day wasn't limited to his performance in the batter's box, either. McGuire was tested early in the game by the speedy Jose Ramirez, and McGuire responded by throwing out the potential American League MVP Award candidate at second base.

Video: CLE@TOR: McGuire cuts down Ramirez at second

"It's crazy," McGuire said. "I was drafted by Pittsburgh, and so the whole route there, I'm thinking PNC Park and that's going to the debut. With the trade to Toronto, the whole vision kind of changed and then it became here at the Rogers Centre. It's everything I dreamed of, except the win. I'm just happy to be here."

McGuire said the moment he will never forget from this game happened shortly before first pitch when he noticed his family in the stands. He had just enough time to run over for a quick hug and hello before it was time to get down to business alongside Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio.

After McGuire doubled in the ninth inning, he was able to get his hands on the ball. He said it's something that will be displayed in his home for years to come. The memories from this night might never fade.

"It was just awesome to see them here," McGuire said. "Knowing that they skipped out of work and popped on a plane. They weren't too bummed about that."

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, Reese McGuire

17-year-old Brazilian on path to being Jays' ace

Right-hander Pardinho excelling in first year of pro ball
MLB.com

There's an international prospect in the Blue Jays' system who could be a household name one day. He's just a teenager, but he's famous back in his home country, and has been for years. Toronto believed in him so much that it made him a millionaire at 16.

Right-handed pitcher Eric Pardinho, 17, started his professional career this summer at Bluefield, the club's Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League, just like top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did as a 17-year-old in 2016. And while Pardinho, the club's No. 7-ranked prospect, is still a few years away from his Major League debut, he is already a rising star in an organization loaded with talent at the Minor League level.

There's an international prospect in the Blue Jays' system who could be a household name one day. He's just a teenager, but he's famous back in his home country, and has been for years. Toronto believed in him so much that it made him a millionaire at 16.

Right-handed pitcher Eric Pardinho, 17, started his professional career this summer at Bluefield, the club's Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League, just like top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did as a 17-year-old in 2016. And while Pardinho, the club's No. 7-ranked prospect, is still a few years away from his Major League debut, he is already a rising star in an organization loaded with talent at the Minor League level.

Pardinho, the new face of baseball in Brazil, has the potential to be an ace, too.

"What stands out about Pardinho is his passion and his competitiveness, and how off the field, he's an unassuming, genuine, very nice young man and very respectful," said Gil Kim, Toronto's director of player development. "On the mound, he's a bulldog. He wants to beat you. He can get emotional. He's intense, and that's one of the best qualities he has as well."

Pardinho was No. 6 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list when he signed with the Blue Jays on July 2, 2017, for $1.4 million. It didn't take long for the organization to realize that he was too advanced to begin in the Dominican Summer League, so they sent him to the United States for his first pro season.

Video: Top Prospects: Eric Pardinho, RHP, Blue Jays

It's worth noting that Guerrero Jr. made the leap from Bluefield to Double-A New Hampshire after two seasons. Infielder Bo Bichette, the organization's No. 2 prospect, began his pro career in the Gulf Coast League at 18 in 2016, and started this season at New Hampshire.

The club will have a better of idea of where Pardinho will start 2019 in the offseason.

According to Kim, "The first questions that comes into our minds in terms of the optimal placement for him is how consistent is he with his routines? How solid is his work ethic? How selfless is he as a teammate? How mentally resilient would he be to handle a challenging level?

"While all those things are important, the last part -- of having the mental toughness to face challenges and not lose sight of the importance of process and focusing on getting better every day -- that's probably the most important one.

"In Pardinho, in Vladdy, in Bo Bichette, we saw guys that we had a pretty good level of confidence in that, whether they succeeded or struggled performance-wise, that they would be able to continue their work, they would stay positive, and it would be a good learning experience for them."

Overall, Pardinho has posted a 2.88 ERA and a .199 BAA with 64 strikeouts over 50 innings in 11 starts. He has given up one or no runs in three of his past four starts, including an outing Saturday, when he was charged with one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts over four innings of a no-decision.

Pardinho's fastball touches 96 mph. He also throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup, and he mixes them well.

"It's been a very positive experience. I have learned a lot of new things, and I feel like I'm progressing," Pardinho said. "I'm really focused on working hard to maintain my health and listening to my coaches. The food and the bus rides are much different from my life in Brazil, but it's been fun and I'm adjusting."

Pardinho was born and raised in Bastos, a small municipality in Sao Paulo settled by the Japanese, to Evandro Pereira Pardinho and mother Rosa Reiko Taniguchi, who was born in Brazil to Japanese parents. He trained at the CT Yakult Academy for baseball and used Japanese baseball techniques and strategies that focused on fastballs, pitch location and mechanics. Pardinho trained with a rubber ball until he was 12, and he didn't throw any secondary pitches or lift weights until he was 13.

The teenager has literally come a long way to get to this point.

The journey from Pardinho's home in Bastos to his current place in Bluefield started with a six-hour drive to the airport in San Paolo. The flight from Brazil to Washington, D.C., is another 12 hours, and then there's the four- or five-hour drive to West Virginia, depending upon traffic.

Trips from Brazil to the Blue Jays' academy in the Dominican Republic, where the club sent Pardinho after he signed, took his father 18-20 hours total, with layovers in either Panama or Colombia. In February, Evandro made the long trek from South America to see his son in the D.R. and was surprised to find out when he landed that the club had shipped him to Florida to train. The father spent the week as a tourist on the island while his son worked about a thousand miles away.

"Eric is really mature for his age, and that's because he left our home early following his dream to be a baseball player," Evandro said from his home in Brazil. "He's the same kid he has always been -- maybe he talks a little bit more -- but this is a new experience for all of us."

Pardinho, who is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, is also working on learning English. He said his primarily language is baseball, and he speaks it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pardinho does make time for daily chats with his family, video game play and chatting with friends on social media.

Video: Pardinho hopes to help baseball grow in Brazil

In many ways, Pardinho is already a baseball hero in Brazil. He was 15 when he pitched for the country's World Baseball Classic qualifier in 2016, and if all goes according to his plan, he'll make history and join Cleveland's Yan Gomes-- who in 2012 became the first player from Brazil to play in the Major Leagues - -- Braves pitcher Luiz Gohara, White Sox pitcher Thyago Vieira and Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando on the exclusive list of Major Leaguers from the country. There are 16 players from Brazil currently in the Minor Leagues.

"I think baseball in Brazil is going to grow a lot in the next 10 years and be a big producer of talent," Pardinho said. "I know MLB has invested a lot of money and resources for success in our market. I'm happy to play my part. "

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Toronto Blue Jays

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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"It's a feeling everybody dreams about as a kid," Jansen said of hitting his first homer. "Having your family in the stands and being able to point at them. It's an amazing feeling."

Video: TOR@KC: Jansen talks 1st career home run

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

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."

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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

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.

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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

What to expect from Jansen with Blue Jays

MLB.com

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.

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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

Solarte to DL; 2 top prospects join Blue Jays

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

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.

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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.

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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

Prospect Pannone receives first MLB callup

Lefty will pitch out of bullpen but could start next week in Kansas City
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays called up Thomas Pannone, their 28th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, prior to Thursday night's series finale against the Red Sox.

The 24-year-old left-hander received the news of his first Major League callup following Wednesday night's Triple-A Buffalo game.

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays called up Thomas Pannone, their 28th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, prior to Thursday night's series finale against the Red Sox.

The 24-year-old left-hander received the news of his first Major League callup following Wednesday night's Triple-A Buffalo game.

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"I was at home hanging out on the couch, playing some video games with my roommate, and I got the call from my manager and he just said, 'Congratulations, you're going to the big leagues,'" Pannone said. "From that moment there, my heart started racing. A million thoughts running through my head."

The Blue Jays acquired Pannone from the Indians in a deal for reliever Joe Smith at last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline. He registered a dominant 2017 campaign, posting a 2.36 ERA in 25 Minor League starts but was dealt an 80-game suspension prior to '18 after failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

"The suspension was tough," Pannone said. "Those 80 days in Florida, I'm not going to ever say that was easy, but I had great support around me. ... I didn't want a day to go by where I was not working on something that I could continuously get better every single day so that I could have an opportunity like this."

This year has been more of a struggle for Pannone, who has posted a 5.36 ERA in nine Minor League starts. Most of that damage, however, came in his season opener, when he allowed seven runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Tweet from @BlueJays: Welcome to The Show, @ThomasPannone! #LetsGoBlueJays pic.twitter.com/L0CeSCnszQ

Pannone most recently pitched in the second game of a doubleheader for the Bisons last Saturday, giving up four runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings while striking out seven.

"I'm sneaking my fastball by some guys," Pannone said. "Using my curveball, changeup as well. All three pitches I've been mixing pretty well. Getting ahead of guys. I think that's what has been working the most. Getting ahead of a lot of guys and keeping them honest with my offspeed pitches."

The Blue Jays plan to use Pannone out of the bullpen over the next few games, although he could make a start as the team's fifth starter when the Blue Jays head to Kansas City for the first of four games on Monday.

"Right now, he'll be coming out of the 'pen," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "If something happens [and] we need some guy who can throw some innings, he'll be perfect for that, and down the road we'll see."

Pannone is a candidate to make that start if the Blue Jays don't need him to log significant innings before then, according to Gibbons.

Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley could also get the start. He has a 2.98 ERA in 23 Minor League starts between Double-A New Hampshire and Buffalo this year, although the organization has been hesitant to call him up so far this season.

"He's having a good year," Gibbons said. "He's a lot like Ryan Borucki, part of the future. We talked about using him, too. … But we don't have anybody definite yet."

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

Right-hander Jacob Waguespack, whom the Blue Jays acquired at the Trade Deadline for Aaron Loup, is also a possibility. He allowed an unearned run over 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday for Buffalo.

Worth noting

• The Blue Jays optioned Mike Hauschild to Triple-A in the corresponding move for Pannone. Hauschild allowed four runs in 8 1/3 innings with the Blue Jays this year.

Aaron Sanchez went three innings, allowing five hits, two walks and four runs in his first rehab start since being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right index finger contusion.

Sanchez, who has a 4.52 ERA in 15 starts this season, is expected to make a couple more Minor League rehab starts before returning to the Blue Jays if everything goes well.

Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Thomas Pannone

Lefty pitching prospect Pannone called up

Blue Jays option Hauschild to Triple-A
MLB.com

TORONTO -- Another piece of the Blue Jays' future was added to the 25-man roster on Thursday afternoon with the arrival of left-hander Thomas Pannone.

Pannone was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Toronto's series finale against the Red Sox, while right-hander Mike Hauschild was optioned to the Minor Leagues. The 24-year-old Pannone is the Blue Jays' No. 28 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

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TORONTO -- Another piece of the Blue Jays' future was added to the 25-man roster on Thursday afternoon with the arrival of left-hander Thomas Pannone.

Pannone was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Toronto's series finale against the Red Sox, while right-hander Mike Hauschild was optioned to the Minor Leagues. The 24-year-old Pannone is the Blue Jays' No. 28 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

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The Blue Jays promoted Pannone after he made six starts for the Bisons and posted a 4.91 ERA. The native of Rhode Island missed the start of the Minor League season after he received a suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Toronto has an opening in its rotation following the departure of Hauschild, who was being used as an emergency replacement. Hauschild allowed four runs over 2 1/3 innings in a 10-5 loss to Boston on Wednesday.

Toronto Blue Jays

Hauschild stumbles in first MLB start

Right-hander's outing leaves Blue Jays searching for fifth-starter options
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Mike Hauschild experiment worked for one outing, but his first Major League start didn't go nearly as well for the Blue Jays.

After pitching six scoreless innings a week ago in Seattle, the Red Sox proved a much tougher test for the 28-year-old right-hander. They jumped on him early, scoring four runs in the third inning and chasing him after just 2 1/3 frames, sending Toronto to a 10-5 loss at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.

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TORONTO -- The Mike Hauschild experiment worked for one outing, but his first Major League start didn't go nearly as well for the Blue Jays.

After pitching six scoreless innings a week ago in Seattle, the Red Sox proved a much tougher test for the 28-year-old right-hander. They jumped on him early, scoring four runs in the third inning and chasing him after just 2 1/3 frames, sending Toronto to a 10-5 loss at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.

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Rafael Devers hit a leadoff double to open the third and two batters later, Hauschild found himself in a bases-loaded, no-out jam. Andrew Benintendi hit a sac fly to put Boston on the board and Mitch Moreland followed with a two-run double to give Boston a 3-0 lead. After J.D. Martinez singled, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons turned to his bullpen.

"I give [Hauschild] credit," Gibbons said. "He had a good one last time, and today, it didn't get out of control by any means. [If] I leave him in, he might roll a ground ball, so three runs is all he gives up right there."

Hauschild was signed by Toronto just 30 minutes before his outing in Seattle after being designated for assignment by the Astros. He posted a 4.88 ERA in 19 Triple-A starts this season, but his career Major League ERA ballooned to 7.71 after Wednesday's outing.

Video: BOS@TOR: Gibbons discusses the Blue Jays' 10-5 loss

"The biggest difference for me was just pounding the zone," Hauschild said. "My fastball, it kind of looked like they eliminated it in the third inning there, and I made a couple mistakes, and they hit it pretty hard."

Hauschild could get another shot as the Blue Jays' fifth starter when the spot comes up on Monday against Kansas City, but Gibbons isn't certain who he'll use in the spot next turn through the rotation.

"We don't know what's going to happen, to be honest with you," Gibbons said.

The void will eventually be filled by Aaron Sanchez, who will make his first rehab start on Tuesday. Sanchez has been on the 10-day disabled list since June 23 with a right index finger contusion.

It's believed the organization would like to keep top prospect Sean Reid-Foley in the Minor Leagues a little longer. The 22-year-old has a 2.98 ERA between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. He went just five innings, allowing two runs, but struck out eight in his last outing on Tuesday.

Right-hander Jacob Waguespack is the most likely option for Toronto. He was acquired in a deal with the Phillies for Aaron Loup. He has a 4.48 ERA split between Double-A and Triple-A this season, and he would be on track to start the series opener in Kansas City after pitching 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday. Thomas Pannone could be another option for the team, however, he's posted a 5.36 ERA in the Minors since returning from an 80-game suspension this season.

The Blue Jays' bullpen didn't fare well after Hauschild. Luis Santos, Jake Petricka, Danny Barnes, and Joe Biagini allowed runs in their combined 5 2/3 innings.

"We hung around, just couldn't get that big shutdown inning," Gibbons said.

Red Sox starter Brian Johnson went seven innings, but he got roughed up by a pair of home runs from Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk, and finished the night with five earned runs.

Video: BOS@TOR: Hernandez belts a 2-run homer to center

Hernandez's sixth-inning homer was his 17th of the year and tied him for second on the team with Yangervis Solarte, trailing only Justin Smoak, who has 18.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Grichuk pulls Blue Jays within three: Trailing 8-2 in the seventh inning, Grichuk clobbered a Johnson fastball an estimated 442 feet, per Statcast™, off the windows in the 300 level in left field to score Kevin Pillar and Russell Martin. It was his 15th home run of the season, and his second-longest shot of the year.

Video: BOS@TOR: Grichuk cracks a towering 3-run homer in 7th

"Honestly, you want to say it feels great, but it doesn't even feel like anything," Grichuk said. "You square it up so well that it just doesn't feel like anything, and it's one of those things you just kind of sit back and want to watch a little bit."

Travis flourishing at top of the order

SOUND SMART
Smoak extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a double in the fourth inning. He finished the night 3-for-4 and has hit .353 during the hitting streak.

HE SAID IT
"It's a tough division to pitch in, to hit in. Every time you go out you're going to get former Cy Young winners, guys that have chances to win it this year, and lineups like these guys, so you definitely have to come ready to play every night." -- Grichuk, on the American League East

UP NEXT
The Blue Jays will send Ryan Borucki (1-2, 2.30 ERA) to the mound Thursday for the final game of their three-game set with the Red Sox. Borucki has been dominant during all but one of his starts this season, pitching at least six innings in six of his seven outings. His one hiccup came in Fenway where he surrendered seven runs, four earned, in just three innings pitched. Rick Porcello (14-4, 3.84) counters for Boston. He's coming off a complete game against the Yankees in which he allowed just one solo homer and struck out nine. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET.

Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Mike Hauschild