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Mat Latos Found D.O.A., Biagini To the Rotation (For Now), Sanchez Eased Off

Yes, the Mat Latos era has ended. God help us all, the Blue Jays are now beyond looking to Mat Latos for answers to their rotation’s injury problems.

The club announced today that it has designated Latos for assignment, and have activated right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez in his place. The club has also claimed right-hander Cesar Valdez from Oakland, and immediately assigned him to Buffalo.

Need I say much about the Latos era? It lasted but three starts — one of which, I’m told, was actually kinda good, but two of which were most certainly not. And his last one — a four-inning turd on Tuesday in the Bronx, in which he gave up seven earned runs, but only by virtue of the fact that he somehow lucked his way out of a near disastrous first inning — was far from it.

I hope he gets back some of the velocity and whatever else it was that made him one of the most sought-after pitchers in the game a few years back, but hoo boy, this right here is the Jays making the right call. The fast ball was straight. The results were ugly. We didn’t need anymore.

Meanwhile, as I wrote on Thursday, Ramirez is a vaguely intriguing-ish name who clearly should be better than his stat line this season will show. How much better? Ugggh. I don’t know if I want to find out.

I saw someone on Twitter earlier — apologies for not remembering who — ungodly 8.71 ERA was especially bloated by the way the Giants hung him out to dry in his last outing for the club — letting him go 52 pitches in just 1.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on two walks and three hits (two of which were home runs) — and if you take away that and his shaky first outing of the season the numbers don’t look so bad. And it’s true! For seven and a third whole innings there he managed a 2.45 ERA with 10 hits, two walks, and no home runs to speak of. So… silver linings?

The more interesting aspect of this, of course, is WHO THE HELL STARTS NOW? Marcus Stroman assures us that he’s fine, but that simply means the Jays need two starters to fill in until J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez are ready to take the ball again and start building up their trade value. (Oh god, this fucking season.)

We know at least one of the answers:

Sounds like he’s at least up to the task:

Still. Hoooooopefully at least one of Happ or Sanchez is ready to come off the DL some time next week, to avoid this happening more than once, but it sounds like we’re going to have to cross our fingers for that being Happ, at this point:

So… that’s not great. Unless Biagini nails it! Because we’ve officially reached the point where, as much as he’s needed as a reliever, he might be needed even more as a starter.

Then again, we probably reached that point when Latos and Casey Lawrence were getting starts for this team, but why split hairs?

As for the second guy they’ll need, Keegan Matheson gives us this grim spectacle to behold:

Hey, and apparently we’re already getting some pretty strong signals:

Though… to be clear:

But still. I think that’s what’s almost certainly happening.

So… yeah. Hoping to tread water it is!

Valdez, I should note, in fact did not beat Hector “Macho” Camacho by unanimous decision in 1992. He did something almost as incredible, though: he had a big league cup of coffee (see what I also did there?) in 2010, then kicked around the minors and the Mexican league before reappearing in the majors this season. Grand total of days between big league apperanaces: 2,506! That’s six years, 10 months, and 10 days. Crazy.

He’s a warm body for Buffalo, presumably. Which… is where this team is at right now, I guess.