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Blue Jays create roster space for newcomers

MLB.com Reporter @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a flurry of roster moves on Saturday morning, as they optioned right-hander Ryan Tepera to Triple-A Buffalo and designated Danny Valencia and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment.

The moves came as Toronto created space on its 25-man roster for recently acquired outfielder Ben Revere and right-hander Mark Lowe. The Blue Jays also recalled infielder Munenori Kawasaki and will, at least temporarily, go with an eight-man bullpen.

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a flurry of roster moves on Saturday morning, as they optioned right-hander Ryan Tepera to Triple-A Buffalo and designated Danny Valencia and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment.

The moves came as Toronto created space on its 25-man roster for recently acquired outfielder Ben Revere and right-hander Mark Lowe. The Blue Jays also recalled infielder Munenori Kawasaki and will, at least temporarily, go with an eight-man bullpen.

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Video: TOR@SEA: Carrera delivers an RBI single up the middle

Toronto's decision to cut ties with Valencia came as the biggest surprise. He was originally expected to platoon in left field with Revere, but that plan changed late Friday night when general manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons had time to assess what they had done prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"Yesterday was obviously a pretty crazy day," Anthopoulos told reporters on Saturday morning. "Revere came together very late and the thought initially was that he was going to be a platoon. Gibby said that and I said that as well. When we actually had a chance to sit down and talk after the game, we went through the roster and tried to figure out who was going to go and what we were going to do.

"Gibby felt like he wanted to play Revere every day in left field. By giving Revere every day at-bats in left field, there wasn't going to be much playing time for Danny with [Chris] Colabello here. In a situation like that, I let the manager decide and Gibby decided he wanted Colabello on the roster for right now."

Toronto's decision caught a lot of people off-guard because Valencia had been enjoying a strong season. He hit .296 with seven homers, 29 RBIs and an .838 OPS in 58 games for the Blue Jays. His biggest value can be found against lefties with a career OPS of .864 compared to a .634 OPS vs. righties.

The Blue Jays have plenty of options against lefties and that likely factored into the decision. Another issue is that Gibbons wanted to prioritize defense and that ultimately made the club to settle on Revere as the every day option in left.

"We had two guys with right-handed bats who could really crush left-handers, but the more we talked, we talked about being as defensively sound as we could be," Anthopoulos said in reference to Valencia and Colabello.

"We know we have a good offensive club. We still want to make the rotation as good as we can make it. We talked about one-run games and what we can do to improve upon that. We upgraded the bullpen, but upgrading the defense was pretty huge, too."

Kawasaki gives the Blue Jays another option up the middle while second baseman Devon Travis is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. Kawasaki will back up second, shortstop and third in his fourth stint this year with the big league club.

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, Ezequiel Carrera, Munenori Kawasaki, Mark Lowe, Ben Revere, Ryan Tepera, Danny Valencia