Blue Jays recall top prospect Gabriel Moreno, demote struggling pitcher Mitch White

·Writer
·3 min read
Gabriel Moreno is back with the Blue Jays. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Gabriel Moreno is back with the Blue Jays. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Toronto Blue Jays made a flurry of roster moves ahead of their series finale against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, most notably recalling top prospect Gabriel Moreno and demoting struggling starting pitcher Mitch White to triple-A Buffalo.

Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez was also placed on the paternity list, while reliever Zach Pop rejoined Toronto's bullpen.

Moreno appeared in 18 games for the Blue Jays earlier this season, posting a .276/.300/.293 slash line. He didn't offer much power at the plate, as only one of his 16 total hits went for extra bases. The 22-year-old catcher has hit for a high average (.315) in triple-A this season but has only registered three homers in 62 games. He's currently ranked as the seventh-best prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline.

The other headline item is White's demotion. The right-hander was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline and stepped into the Blue Jays' starting rotation to replace an ineffective Yusei Kikuchi. White was solid for the Dodgers in 15 games (10 starts), posting a 3.70 ERA. He's struggled mightily since joining the Blue Jays, pitching to an 8.17 ERA over his six starts.

White's first three appearances for Toronto ranged from solid to good, but he's surrendered 18 total runs over his past three outings, most recently a five-run shellacking over 2.1 innings against the Orioles on Tuesday.

It is not clear how the Blue Jays will fill the fifth spot in their rotation moving forward, or if they will lean on bullpen days more frequently. Bringing Kikuchi back from his relief role would be one option, or triple-A starters Casey Lawrence or Thomas Hatch could also step in. None of those three would inspire much confidence among fans.

White is allowed to rejoin the Blue Jays as the 29th man for next week's doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays, but would have to return to the minors following the game, barring an injury to someone else.

Pop was another trade deadline acquisition, joining the Blue Jays in the move that also brought Anthony Bass north of the border from the Miami Marlins. The Brampton, Ont., native was caught in a roster crunch last month and found himself off the big-league team. He owns a sturdy 2.35. ERA over his first eight games with the Blue Jays.

Earlier in the day, the Blue Jays lost catcher Zack Collins to the Pittsburgh Pirates on waivers. Collins split time between Toronto and Buffalo in 2022, hitting .194 with four home runs over 72 at bats this season in the major leagues.

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