Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Tepesch may lose spot upon Biagini return

MLB.com @gregorMLB

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Nick Tepesch limited the Cubs' offense to a pair of runs in Saturday's 4-3 loss, but it likely wasn't enough to keep his spot in Toronto's starting rotation.

Right-hander Joe Biagini is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays in the near future, possibly as early as the middle of next week. When Biagini returns, he'll take the the starting job of either Tepesch or rookie right-hander Chris Rowley, and based on recent results, it seems to be a clear-cut choice.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Nick Tepesch limited the Cubs' offense to a pair of runs in Saturday's 4-3 loss, but it likely wasn't enough to keep his spot in Toronto's starting rotation.

Right-hander Joe Biagini is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays in the near future, possibly as early as the middle of next week. When Biagini returns, he'll take the the starting job of either Tepesch or rookie right-hander Chris Rowley, and based on recent results, it seems to be a clear-cut choice.

View Full Game Coverage

Rowley has allowed three earned runs over 10 1/3 innings during two starts for Toronto. Tepesch sports a 5.17 ERA after he surrendered the two runs on five hits while completing just 3 2/3 innings on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The outing could have gone a lot worse after Tepesch loaded the bases in the first inning with one out, but he held the Cubs to one run.

Video: TOR@CHC: Refsnyder starts DP to help Tepesch escape

"He got through a couple of innings. It looked like they could have erupted in that first inning, and then he settled in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I just thought it was important -- they get a home run and then had a couple of things going -- [I] wanted to hold it in check."

Tepesch did well to limit the damage, but Gibbons did not provide Tepesch with the luxury of working out of his own jam in the fourth inning and instead went to setup man Danny Barnes a lot earlier than he normally would. That is a strong indicator of Tepesch's standing in the organization.

Biagini made what was -- in Gibbons' words -- "hopefully" his final start for Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday night, and he easily could be slotted into Tepesch's spot next turn through the rotation. Another possibility is that with a team off-day on Monday, the Blue Jays could opt to skip Tepesch's next outing, give Biagini another start in the Minors and then bring him back the following week.

"I don't worry about that," Tepesch said of the early hook. "I just try to go out every inning and do the best I can for these guys and keep us in the game, hopefully get some quick outs for them."

Two other names to keep an eye on are lefty Brett Anderson and righty Tom Koehler. Anderson signed a Minor League deal earlier this week and made his debut for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday night. Anderson allowed one run on three hits over four innings while tossing 51 pitches. It was his first time appearing in a professional game since July 20, and he'll likely need at least one more outing to get properly stretched out. But after that, he could be considered for a starting role.

Koehler was acquired by the Blue Jays late Saturday afternoon in a trade with the Marlins. Toronto has yet to announce its intentions for the six-year starter, but he has an option remaining on his contract, and he could be assigned to Buffalo as well. Koehler tossed at least 176 innings during each of the past three seasons for the Marlins, but this year he posted a 7.92 ERA over 12 starts.

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, Nick Tepesch