Blue Jays place Jay Jackson on family medical emergency list, recall Bowden Francis from triple-A; activate Jordan Hicks
Photo credit:Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
By Thomas Hall1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays have announced a series of moves ahead of Monday’s series opener versus the Baltimore Orioles – all involving their bullpen.
Jay Jackson was placed on the family emergency list prior to first pitch, allowing the 35-year-old to travel to Utah to visit his family, including his prematurely born son, JR. He has spent each off day with the youngest of his three children since his wife, Sam, gave birth to their son 15 weeks premature on July 6.
The Blue Jays, with an open roster spot, have recalled right-hander Bowden Francis from triple-A Buffalo to fill Jackson’s vacancy. But he won’t be the only fresh arm in the bullpen, as fellow righty Jordan Hicks – acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday – will also be active for Monday’s contest.
Jackson has been one of the biggest surprises of the Blue Jays’ 2023 season, with the veteran righty performing to a 0.53 ERA with 18 strikeouts across 17.0 innings in 13 major-league appearances. He rejoined the organization after requesting his release from a minor-league contract last spring.
With Toronto’s next off day scheduled for Aug. 14, Jackson’s next opportunity to fly to Utah would’ve likely been on hold had he not left the team during their brutal stretch of playing 17 games in 17 days.
Francis has been shuttled back and forth a few times this season, with the bulk of his major-league outings occurring when the team shifted to a four-man rotation last month. He has logged 13.2 big-league innings in 2023, posting a 2.63 ERA with 12 punchouts over six relief appearances.
Hicks, who will immediately assume the closer’s role in Jordan Romano’s absence, has struck out 59 batters in 41.2 innings across 40 games this season. The 26-year-old impending free agent also owns a 3.67 ERA, the lowest of his career since 2019 (3.14).
Toronto resumes play against AL East competition on Monday, beginning a four-game set with Baltimore, followed by three versus the Boston Red Sox.
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