According to the Buffalo Bisons’ official website, pitching prospect Anthony Kay (acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman deal) has been placed on the Temporary Inactive List. This could mean that Kay will be called up to the Blue Jays in the near future.
I mean, he could have been placed on the Temporary Inactive List for a wealth of different reasons, but the Jays have frequently used this option this season when bouncing players up and down from different levels. It allows them to find another pitcher for the Bisons to temporarily replace Kay while also not immediately adding him to the Major League roster, which, of course, would require a player to be sent down. It’s a pretty standard strategy to optimize a team’s roster options.
Kay last pitched for Buffalo on Aug. 27, meaning his next scheduled start on regular rest would be on Sunday, Sept. 1. The Jays have announced that Trent Thornton will start against Houston on Friday and Clay Buchholz will start Saturday but they haven’t yet said who will start the series finale on Sunday. It makes some sense for Kay to either get the start or come in after an opener.
#BlueJays starters this weekend vs. Houston Astros, per Charlie Montoyo.
Friday: Trent Thornton
Saturday: Clay Buchholz
— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) August 28, 2019
Kay has been excellent as of late for the Bisons. Since his ugly debut with the Bisons shortly after the trade, Kay has tossed 28 2/3 innings over five starts, scattering just four earned runs. His 16 walks to 33 strikeouts is a little concerning, but the fact he’s holding opponents to a .556 OPS is positive.
He isn’t currently on the 40-man roster so there would have to be a corresponding roster move to call him up. Another thing to remember, rosters expand on Sept. 1, so the Jays would only have to add Kay to the 40-man and they wouldn’t have to option anybody to Buffalo to call him up.
We’re obviously going to see Kay at some point in September regardless, so it makes sense to bring him up to fill this open spot in the rotation.