JP Howell rejoins Blue Jays tonight; Brett Oberholtzer also on his way up from triple-A Buffalo— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) July 31, 2017
John Gibbons says #BlueJays still undecided on who fills Francisco Liriano's spot in rotation.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 31, 2017
With Francisco Liriano and Joe Smith packing their bags to join Houston and Cleveland respectively, the Blue Jays will add reinforcements from Triple-A. That’ll be J.P. Howell, who’s been on the 10-day disabled list since early July with left shoulder tightness and Brett Oberholtzer, who was signed to a minor-league deal in the offseason.
The Blue Jays are now carrying Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, and Cesar Valdez as four of their five starters, while Howell, Oberholtzer, Joe Biagini, Matt Dermody, Dominic Leone, Mike Bolsinger Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, and Roberto Osuna are available in the ‘pen. I imagine Bolsinger would fill Liriano’s spot, but I suppose Oberholtzer could be used as a starter too.
Howell has had a miserable season. He was signed in the offseason to a $3 million deal to be the team’s top lefty out of the ‘pen, but that hasn’t happened. Howell has only thrown eight-and-two-thirds innings for the Jays this season, and has surrendered eight runs on 12 hits and seven walks. His last three appearances in Buffalo have been scoreless, though.
Oberholtzer has made 18 starts for the Bisons this season and owns a 4.48 ERA and pretty ugly peripheral numbers. The lefty who was once a promising prospect in Houston is striking out only 5.6 batters per nine innings while walking 3.1 per nine.
Like I said earlier, there isn’t word yet on who’s actually going to be filling the rotation, but no matter what, it isn’t going to be pretty until — if? — Aaron Sanchez returns from the disabled list.