TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays strengthened their depleted bullpen Sunday by acquiring right-hander Jordan Hicks in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Toronto sent minor league right-handers Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse to St. Louis for the 26-year-old Hicks. The Blue Jays (59-47) are tied with Houston in the wild-card race, four games behind Tampa Bay. Toronto trails Baltimore by five games in the AL East.
A five-year veteran who had spent his entire career with the Cardinals, Hicks is 1-6 with a 3.67 ERA and eight saves in 11 chances. The hard-throwing Hicks has struck out 59 batters in 41 2/3 innings while walking 24.
Toronto put closer Jordan Romano on the 15-day injured list Saturday because of a sore back. Romano left the July 11 All-Star Game in Seattle because of back pain and did not pitch for the Blue Jays again until July 20. He left with two outs in the ninth inning of Friday’s 4-1 win over the Angels and was replaced by Yimi García.
Toronto lost Sunday’s series finale when García, who was pitching for the third straight day, gave up Hunter Renfroe’s two-run homer in the 10th. It was the first time this season García had pitched on three consecutive days.
The Blue Jays could get more relief help when right-hander Chad Green returns from Tommy John surgery. Green, who had elbow surgery last May, signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with Toronto in January. The former Yankee made his third rehab appearance with Class-A Dunedin on Saturday and is expected to move up to Triple-A Buffalo next.
Kloffenstein was 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 17 starts at Double-A New Hampshire. Robberse, who is from the Netherlands, was 3-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 18 starts for the Fisher Cats.
Right-hander Mitch White was designated for assignment to make room for Hicks on Toronto’s 40-man roster.
The Associated Press