Blue Jays Option Right-Hander To Triple-A

With the Toronto Blue Jays re-activating a crucial piece of their pitching staff, a less-than-crucial piece is heading back down to the minors.

Ross Stripling is returning from the injured list, and is taking the mound for today's critical game against the Baltimore Orioles. To create room, Trent Thornton—who has struggled mightily off and on—is heading to Triple-A Buffalo.

Thornton has a 4.30 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP on the season in 31 appearances out of the Jays bullpen. But the numbers of late say he's not pitching anywhere near that well. In his last 15 outings, Thornton has an untenable 6.41 ERA and an equally inadequate 1.42 WHIP. 

Thornton did toss two scoreless innings in relief against the Orioles on Monday, leaving some observers to question whether another member of the pitching staff should have taken the hit instead.

No, Yusei Kikuchi, the bust offseason free agent signing, will not be going on the IL for some sketchy reason. But it's interesting to note that Stripling is starting today on what would have been Kikuchi's day to pitch. Instead, Kikuchi has been spotted today in the Blue Jays' bullpen.

Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports, John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports