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Blue Jays send down Alford, Reid-Foley

Hanson, Brito join 25-man roster; Pentecost moves on; injury updates
@gregorMLB
April 4, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Anthony Alford era has been put on hold for at least a little while longer. The Blue Jays optioned Alford and right-hander Sean Reid-Foley prior to Thursday's series opener in Cleveland. The demotions made room on the 25-man roster for infielder Alen Hanson and outfielder Socrates Brito,

CLEVELAND -- The Anthony Alford era has been put on hold for at least a little while longer.

The Blue Jays optioned Alford and right-hander Sean Reid-Foley prior to Thursday's series opener in Cleveland. The demotions made room on the 25-man roster for infielder Alen Hanson and outfielder Socrates Brito, both of whom were acquired earlier this week.

Brito is expected to assume the role of fourth outfielder while Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk and Billy McKinney remain the starters. Alford, the club's No. 11 prospect, will have to earn his way back onto the roster with a strong showing at Triple-A Buffalo.

"I talked to him and he was fine when he left the office," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said of Alford. "He has to go [to Buffalo] and hit and get regular at-bats.

"What I told him, honestly, was that 'a guy with as many tools as you have, we want you to play every day. That kind of goes against you, because we want you to be an everyday player in the big leagues and if you were here now, you're not going to play every day. So I want you to go there, put up numbers, and when you come back I want you to play every day.' He understood that."

Reid-Foley's departure means the Blue Jays have another opening in the starting rotation and it's expected to be filled by lefty Thomas Pannone. Toronto made Pannone the tentative starter for Saturday afternoon's game against Cleveland but if inclement weather postpones Friday's game, the Blue Jays likely would skip Pannone's spot entirely.

Pentecost steps away

A former Blue Jays first-round pick has decided to step away from the game at age 26.

Max Pentecost took a leave of absence midway through Spring Training to ponder his future in the sport. The native of Georgia initially was projected to begin the year at Triple-A Buffalo but instead he will pursue other opportunities and leave the game behind.

Pentecost was taken by the Blue Jays with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. At the time, he was expected to become the team's catcher of the future with elite offensive skills and game-calling ability that ultimately caught the attention of a lot of scouts.

The problem is that Pentecost never seemed to be healthy in a Blue Jays uniform. Since 2014, he has appeared in 260 career games in the Minors and his career high for a season was 89 last year in New Hampshire. It appears as though Pentecost just didn't want to go through the Minor League grind any longer.

"I think if he feels that way, I'm never going to tell a guy not to do that," Montoyo said. "If he feels that's the right thing to do. He knows his life better than I do. I know he's a great guy. When he played, when he caught, he did well. But when your heart's not in it, that's the best thing to do. So I wish him the best."

Injury updates

• Right-hander Clay Buchholz (flexor strain) threw 60 pitches in an extended spring training game on Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw 75 pitches in his next outing, which likely will take place at some point this weekend. Toronto has yet to announce where that start will take place, and weather is expected to be a factor.

• Left-hander Ryan Borucki (sore left elbow) threw a side session at the club's Minor League complex on Wednesday. He was scheduled to be evaluated on Thursday to determine the next steps of his rehab. Toronto previously indicated that Borucki would be a candidate to return by the end of April.

• Setup man Ryan Tepera (right elbow inflammation) also threw a side session on Wednesday. He is expected to resume game activity by mid-April and should return to the Blue Jays bullpen in 2 to 3 weeks.

• Reliever David Phelps (Tommy John surgery) resumed throwing this week after taking a brief period off. Phelps had been throwing live batting practice late in Spring Training when the Blue Jays decided to give his arm a rest. The 32-year-old remains without a timetable for a return.

• Outfielder Dalton Pompey is still dealing with the fallout from the concussion he sustained late in Spring Training. It was the third concussion of Pompey's career and the symptoms have yet to subside. He remains without a timetable for a return and a schedule will not be set until his symptoms go away.

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