The Blue Jays have made a pair of roster moves in order to add right-handed pitcher Casey Lawrence to their active roster.
Left-handed pitcher Andrew Vasquez was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo in order to clear room on the 26-man roster, while utility guy Gosuke Katoh has been designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
This is sad news for Katoh, who quickly became a fan favourite in Toronto. After spending nearly a decade in the minors, Katoh cracked the Blue Jays out of spring training. Katoh picked up his first-ever big league hit in a game against the Boston Red Sox last week and his teammates embraced him afterward in an incredibly heartfelt moment.
Lawrence has an underdog story of his own. The Blue Jays signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2010 and he finally made his debut with the team in 2017. Lawrence spent some time with the Seattle Mariners, pitched in Japan in 2019, and returned to the Blue Jays as a minor league free agent in 2021 where he would split time with Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A New Hampshire.
In 22 1/3 innings for the Bisons this season, the 34-year-old Lawrence has a sparking 2.82 ERA and has 18 strikeouts compared to five walks.
He’s been used mostly as a starter over the past two years so Lawrence will be able to provide Toronto some length out of the bullpen. Given the way Yusei Kikuchi has pitched so far this season, that might be necessary on Wednesday night.