Blue Jays trade for right-hander Nick Kingham

Luciano heads to injured list with elbow inflammation

June 13th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays added some flexibility to their pitching staff Thursday by acquiring right-handed pitcher Nick Kingham from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

Kingham was not with the team in Baltimore for Thursday’s series finale against the Orioles and will join the club in Houston on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera was transferred to the 60-day injured list and will be eligible to be reinstated on July 20. Tepera underwent surgery on May 28 to shave down a bone spur and remove a loose body in his throwing elbow.

Kingham brings with him a history of both bullpen and starting experience, although he was predominately used as a reliever by Pittsburgh this season. In 14 appearances in 2019 -- four starts and 10 in relief -- Kingham owns a 9.87 ERA across 34 2/3 innings alongside a 1.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“We have to talk to him to see when the last time he started [was],” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He was in the bullpen for a while.”

Two of Kingham’s last three outings with Pittsburgh were starts and he allowed 14 runs over his 10 innings before being designated for assignment on June 8.

It will be a quasi-reunion for Montoyo and Kingham. The two have met before, when the former was managing the Rays’ Triple-A Durham squad and the latter was a starter on the Pirates’ Triple-A Indianapolis staff.

“We just got another [Tyler] Glasnow, who knows,” Montoyo said of Kingham, who is listed at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. “He’s a big tall guy like that.”

Luciano heads to IL
After recording just one out and conceding two earned runs in the eighth inning of Toronto’s 8-6 win over Baltimore Wednesday, 19-year-old reliever Elvis Luciano was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a right elbow sprain. Right-handed reliever Justin Shafer has been called up from Triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding roster move.

Montoyo and his training staff do not yet have a matured assessment of the severity of Luciano’s ailment -- a perplexing development considering Luciano’s fastball velocity remained around standard his entire outing Wednesday.

“All I know is elbow inflammation,” Montoyo said, adding that the slippery mound amid the rain Wednesday may or may not have played a factor. “That’s all I know at this point.”

Meanwhile, Shafer joined the team in Baltimore for Thursday’s game with 3 2/3 innings and two earned runs at the big league level to his name this season. In total, he’s pieced together a 1.59 ERA across 22 2/3 innings pitched with Buffalo this year.