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Blue Jays activate Rodriguez from IL; to start Friday vs. Guardians

Yariel Rodriguez Toronto Blue Jays Yariel Rodriguez - The Canadian Press

The Toronto Blue Jays will start right-hander Yariel Rodriguez Friday evening, activating him from the 15-day injured list ahead of their series opener in Cleveland against the Guardians.

Rodriguez had not pitched at the big league level since April 29 due to thoracic spine inflammation. Righty Ryan Burr has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding move.

Rodriguez was 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15.1 innings spread out over four appearances prior to going down with the injury. He has been rehabbing in Buffalo the last few weeks and has a 1.77 ERA in eight minor league outings this season.

The 27-year-old Rodriguez joined the Blue Jays this off-season on a five-year, $32 million contract after pitching professionally for the better part of the past decade in his native Cuba as well as Japan. Rodriguez had a 3.30 ERA in six seasons in Cuba and a 3.03 ERA in three seasons in Japan.

Toronto (35-39) enters Friday's series last in the American League East division. The Guardians (46-26) lead the AL Central by six games.