Sunday morning turned into a roster shuffling exercise for the Buffalo Bisons.
The moves actually started Saturday night as outfielder Melky Cabrera left after the fifth inning for Toronto.
Cabrera was with the Herd for two rehabilitation starts as he recovered from tendonitis in his left knee. He had three hits in five at-bats with the Bisons with an RBI.
“This is the best it’s felt in a long time,” Cabrera told the Toronto media Sunday. “I worked hard to be in this shape and I feel good now.”
To make room for Cabrera, the Toronto Blue Jays optioned right-handed reliever Neil Wagner to the Herd. Wagner was promoted to the Blue Jays on May 29 after starting the season with the Bisons. With Buffalo, he posted a 0.89 earned run average, allowed just 10 hits in 20∑ innings, struck out 32 and closed all 13 of his save opportunities.
With the Blue Jays, Wagner went 2-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 19∑ innings pitched.
“I’ll take Neil any time,” Bison manager Marty Brown said. “Knowing Neil’s personality he’s going to come down here, continue to work and be ready for when he’s called upon again by Toronto. You never know when that will be. I think he’s going come down here with the idea of being successful and helping us win.”
The Bisons also announced that lefty J.A. Happ will make a rehabilitation start at Coca-Cola Field on Tuesday. Happ has been on the disabled list since May 8 after being hit in the head with a line drive against Tampa Bay on May 7.
Happ has made two rehab starts in the lower minors. He gave up four hits in three innings with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Blue Jays on July 13 and tossed five scoreless innings on July 18 for Single-A Dunedin, giving up three hits with seven strikeouts.
Looks like the Herd will get some pop back in the lineup with the return of Moises Sierra (hamstring). Sierra went on the injured list on July 4.
“Sierra is ready to roll,” Brown said “He’s played in a few games down in Dunedin. He’ll be back on our roster tomorrow.”
Brown is hopeful to get slugger Luis Jimenez (knee) back soon. Jimenez went on the disabled list as of July 5.
“The big train? I don’t know I haven’t seen him,” Brown said after Sunday’s game. “I have to find out how he’s doing, but he’s progressing and should be not many days away.”
In 72 games with the Herd, Sierra was batting .264 with 30 runs batted in. Jimenez is hitting .307 with 61 RBI in 75 games played for Buffalo.
Lefty Ricky Romero (2-3, 5.56) is scheduled to start for the Herd today (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) as they open a four-game series with the Columbus Clippers. He was scratched from his usual start in the rotation on Saturday due to illness. The Clippers are scheduled to start Trevor Bauer (4-2. 4.06).