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Blue Jays bullpen crowded behind Osuna: Griffin

July 15th, 2017 at 11:25 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

DETROITâ??On the morning of April 1 in Montreal, right-hander Ryan Tepera sat quietly at his Olympic Stadium locker prior to the Blue Jays’ final spring exhibition not knowing if he would be headed to Baltimore for opening day or travelling to Buffalo to start the season with the Triple-A Bisons.

My, how things have changed for the 29-year-old Texan. Tepera is now one of four pitchers manager John Gibbons trusts in a setup role for closer Roberto Osuna.

The Jays had been quickly returning to health with key pitchers before left-hander Francisco Liriano walked off the mound on Saturday accompanied by trainers in the third inning. The early diagnosis was neck tightness. It is unknown whether he’ll have to miss a start or even be placed on the disabled list.

Righty Joe Biagini had taken a month and a half off from the relief duties at which he excelled in 2016 to join the rotation as a replacement for Aaron Sanchez, who is now healthy. Biagini is a possibility to start again.

Meanwhile, veteran right-hander Joe Smith (right shoulder) has one more scheduled rehab assignment at Buffalo before being activated in Boston.

At a pre-game session in his Comerica Park office, Gibbons spoke enthusiastically about the return of Smith and suggested there was no hurry to rush Biagini back into the same high-leverage role he had handled before becoming a starter. Why? It is due to the emergence of Tepera and righty Danny Barnes. In support of Osuna there are now …

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Tags: Blue Jays, Francisco Liriano

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