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Blue Jays call up RHP Rodriguez, debuts vs. Rockies

Yariel Rodriguez Blue Jays Yariel Rodriguez - The Canadian Press

The Toronto Blue Jays recalled right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodriguez, and optioned RHP Paolo Espino to Triple-A in a corresponding move on Saturday.

Rodriguez, 27, made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays as a starter on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and striking out six. 

The Cuban native signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Blue Jays this off-season, but started the season in Triple-A.  Rodriguez has not allowed a run over two starts for the Bisons this season, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out 10.

He pitched the last three seasons in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons, but impressed major-league scouts at the 2023 World Baseball Classic pitching for Cuba, where he pitched to a 2.45 earned run average in 7.1 innings across two starts. 

The Blue Jays enter their contest on Saturday at 6-8, having lost their last two games. Ace Kevin Gausman was roughed up by the Rockies on Friday in an eventual 12-4 defeat.