John Gibbons says Francisco Liriano's bullpen went well, expectation is he starts Thur for #BlueJays. Will wait to see how he feels tomorrow— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 18, 2017
John Gibbons says Joe Smith felt good in rehab inning yesterday, on track for activation from DL tomorrow. #BlueJays— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 18, 2017
According to Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays expect to have Francisco Liriano ready to go for his scheduled start on Thursday and that reliever Joe Smith will be activated from that 10-day disabled list.
Liriano exited Saturday’s game against the Tigers after loading the bases on three consecutive walks. It was said that he had a sore neck and back on the right side, but after a successful bullpen day today, it seems he’ll be able to go. Liriano has a pretty ugly 6.04 ERA on the season, but he’s been solid since coming off of the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation in early June.
Joe Smith has about a month of action because of shoulder inflammation. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list back on June 19 after an unfortunate appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays in which the veteran sidewinder surrendered three earned runs. Smith has made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Buffalo, tossing one inning in each of them, surrendering just one hit and picking up three strikeouts.
Smith has been largely excellent for the Jays this season, filling the eighth inning role that was originally expected to be handled by Jason Grilli. Upon Smith’s return, the Jays will likely either try to slide Mike Bolsinger through waivers or they’ll take the easier route and option Dominic Leone to Triple-A.
Finally, there’s J.P. Howell. He’s, uh, trying to remember how to pitch in Buffalo it seems. He’s on a rehab stint that’s likely nowhere near over.
“They’ve been as professional as you can be,” Howell said of the Blue Jays, per a story from Laura Armstrong in the Toronto Star, his fourth big-league organization. “They could’ve just flat out told me to go home. They can do whatever they want. But they chose to put me here, set me up with a throwing program. They never showed disappointment. They were just excited about the process and results are coming. They don’t have to be this patient with me and they have been.”
Howell got drilled in Buffalo yesterday, allowing four earned runs on three hits without recording an out. Over this rehab stint, Howell has allowed five earned runs on six hits and one walk over just two-and-two-thirds innings.