The Buffalo Bisons’ lineup got a potentially huge addition heading into the season’s final homestand Monday as the parent Toronto Blue Jays claimed former International League all-star first baseman Matt Hague on waivers from Pittsburgh and assigned him to Buffalo.
Hague, who turns 29 on Wednesday, made his second IL all-star team this year and was batting .267 with 14 home runs and 66 RBIs for Indianapolis. He led the Indians in home runs and RBIs before being designated for assignment last week. He is expected to report to Buffalo in the coming days. The Bisons, who were off Monday, host Rochester tonight at 7 in Cola-Cola Field (TWCS, Radio 1520 AM).
The Bisons moved Monday two games behind Pawtucket for the IL wild-card, as the PawSox lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday. Buffalo has 15 games left, playing at home each of the next eight days before finishing with seven games on the road.
The Bisons have set their pitching rotation for the start of the homestand and red-hot Toronto prospect Daniel Norris is scheduled to make his home debut Thursday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Norris, a 21-year-old left-hander, struck out 13 batters Saturday night at Lehigh Valley. That was one shy of the Bisons’ modern-era record, and made him the first Buffalo pitcher in the modern era with back-to-back outings of 10 or more whiffs.
Norris is 11-1 with a 2.22 earned run average at three levels of the Toronto chain this season. He is 2-0, 0.77 in his two Buffalo starts, striking out 23 and walking just one in 11∏ innings. He has allowed one run on five hits.
Meanwhile, Bisons pitcher Scott Copeland was named IL Pitcher of the Week Monday after throwing back-to-back performances of seven shutout innings in his first two career outings in Triple-A.
The oddity to Copeland’s stellar work? The 26-year-old was sent back to Double-A New Hampshire by the Blue Jays on Sunday because Brad Mills and Chad Jenkins were added to the Buffalo roster. Mills is expected to start here Wednesday. Lefty Sean Nolin (4-4, 2.89) is tonight’s scheduled starter.