Blue Jays sign David Phelps, DFA Shun Yamaguchi

It looks like the Shun Yamaguchi era is over.

The Blue Jays designated the swingman for assignment on Wednesday night and announced that they had claimed Joel Payamps off of waivers from the Red Sox.

ROSTER MOVE: We’ve claimed RHP Joel Payamps off waivers from the Red Sox.
To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Shun Yamaguchi has been designated for assignment.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 11, 2021

Ending the Yamaguchi experiment isn’t all that big of a surprise. He had a rough time in 2020, posting a 8.06 ERA over 17 appearances, and while there’s some hope he could rebound in a normal season with a normal spring training, the fact Yamaguchi can reject an assignment to the minors makes him a difficult obstacle on the 40-man roster.
I can’t imagine anybody will claim Yamaguchi and take on his $3,175,000 salary, so the Blue Jays are more than likely going to be on the hook for that.

As @Feinsand reports, #BlueJays have signed right-handed reliever David Phelps to a big-league deal, per source. They’ll be making another roster move this afternoon.
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) February 11, 2021

And, on Thursday morning, the Joel Payamps era came …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Robbie Ray had an encouraging Blue Jays debut

The combination of Julian Merryweather, Robbie Ray, and Shun Yamaguchi gave the Blue Jays a good effort in Miami on Tuesday, but, unfortunately, some limp bats resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins.

Things worth mentioning…

Julian Merryweather got the start as the opener and dazzled yet again. Over two innings of work, Merryweather didn’t allow a hit, issued one walk, and struck out three. He sat at around 96 miles-per-hour with his fastball and kept hitters off balance with an indistinguishable change-up. Merryweather has now gone seven-and-one-third innings without allowing a run. Here’s a look at how he completely fools hitters with his fastball-change combo…

Julian Merryweather, 79mph high Changeup (called strike) and 98mph elevated Fastball (Swinging K), Overlay.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 1, 2020

Robbie Ray came in after Merryweather to make his Blue Jays debut. The thing with Ray, as we know, is command. He has lethal stuff, but he’s had a hell of a time finding the strike zone this season. In his last outing as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Ray issued a whopping six walks over the course of four innings. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What the Blue Jays’ signing of Shun Yamaguchi tells us about their stance on openers

Let’s face it, Shun Yamaguchi — the Japanese forkballer who reportedly landed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Blue Jays Tuesday  — is not going to be the superfluous addition that puts the team over the hump of contention in 2020 and beyond.
Yes, it’s exciting that the Blue Jays have, for the first time ever, seriously forayed into the Japanese market, and yes, seeing a pitcher with Yamaguchi’s makeup is cause for excitement, but the team still needs numerous pieces and then some to be considered serious contenders, as you’ve no doubt heard hundreds of times.
Yamaguchi’s signing is hardly a controversial one. His contract appears reasonable and it’s easy to recognize the upside the front office sees in him. What’s even more interesting is that Yamaguchi can be used as both a starter and reliever, as team president Mark Shapiro mentioned on Sportsnet’s Tim and Sid Wednesday.
So, where will he end up? And, most importantly, why does the team keep signing pitchers with relatively low, yet solidly consistent, ceilings?
In an observant and perhaps sarcastic tweet, Nick Dika, a contributor to …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation