ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Charlie Montoyo got a bit of a surprise when he summoned Yennsy Diaz to tell the young pitcher his days in the big leagues, for now, are over.
Diaz was sent back to double-A New Hampshire on Monday after struggling in his major-league debut a day earlier, when he did not last an inning in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Diaz spoke the truth to Montoyo, impressing the Blue Jays manager.
“(When I said to him), we’re going to send you back, but I love your arm, he said ‘I was nervous,’” Montoyo said. “I loved that. Because usually guys make excuses, that that were wild and stuff like that.
“I said, ‘Good for you, you will be all right. We will see you soon — you’re part of our future.’ That’s what I told him.”
The 22-year-old, hard-throwing Diaz pitched two-thirds of inning in Baltimore on Sunday, walking four and allowing two runs in the Jays’ 6-5 loss.
To replace Diaz on the roster, the Jays recalled right-hander Brock Stewart from triple-A Buffalo. Toronto last week claimed the 27-year-old Stewart on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Fresh start with a new team,” Stewart said before the Jays and Tampa Bay Rays met on Monday night. “I was told they need length, and I think I can provide that. I’m looking forward to the opportunity here.”
Not that it’s anything new for any pro ball player who bounces back and forth between the majors and the minor leagues, but it was quite a hectic few days for Stewart. When the Jays claimed him, Stewart was with the Dodgers’ triple-A club, Oklahoma City, in Salt Lake City.
He flew back to Oklahoma City, hung out with his fiancé for day, flew to Buffalo on Friday, was with the Bisons on the weekend, and was up at 5 a.m. on Monday to travel to join the Jays.
“It hasn’t been easy,” Stewart said, “but it’s nothing new.”
And when the Jays return to Toronto following the series finale against the Rays on Wednesday, it will mark Stewart’s first trip to Canada.
“I know they are very proud people and proud of the Blue Jays, so I’m looking forward to getting up there,” Stewart said. “It will be a new experience and I’m looking forward to it.”
Stewart didn’t have to be told about the impact that youngsters Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio already are making with the Jays.
“When I got claimed, I changed the MLB app from the home page of the Dodgers to the home page of the Blue Jays,” Stewart said. “But I have been keeping up with these guys and I have seen the highlights on TV all season long and it’s special to see some of this young talent we have here. I’m just excited to be part of it. I introduced myself to all of them, they seem like cool dudes.”
AROUND THE BASES
Montoyo on Sean Reid-Foley, who didn’t have a great outing against the Orioles on Sunday, lasting four innings: “It’s just his command. He has good stuff. He needs to throw more strikes. And when he does, he gets people out. He has that heavy fastball. Nothing more frustrating for a manager than people who don’t throw strikes, at any level. And even more in the big leagues. The more people you’re going to put on base, facing good hitters, you’re going to get in trouble.” … Trent Thornton gets the ball for the Jays on Tuesday night and will keep his fingers crossed it goes better than his previous two starts against Tampa Bay, going 0-1 with a 9.39 earned run average (eight earned runs against in 7 2/3 innings pitched) … The Jays lost each of their first two series against the Rays in Toronto this season and were swept in three games here in May.
— Terry Koshan
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