AL Notes: Gausman, Forst, A’s, Olson, Refsnyder

Kevin Gausman won’t start tomorrow’s game against the Mariners, as the Blue Jays righty is still recovering from a bone bruise on his right ankle.  Gausman hasn’t pitched since suffering the injury on July 2, but Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and other reporters that the team is hoping Gausman can return to the mound on Tuesday when the Blue Jays host the Phillies.

Toronto’s struggling rotation hasn’t been helped by Gausman’s absence, as the Jays’ lack of depth was already being stretched by a recent doubleheader against the Rays, and Ross Stripling’s move to the rotation to replace the injured Hyun Jin Ryu.  Since June 14, the Blue Jays have a 9-16 record, and their pitchers have a cumulative 5.49 ERA — the second-highest total of any team in baseball in that stretch.  Rotation help certainly seems like the Jays’ top priority heading into the trade deadline, but in the short term, the club is just trying to hang onto its status as a wild card team.

More from around the American League…

  • In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic’s Melissa Lockard, A’s general manager David Forst discussed his team’s struggles, the young talent on the roster and in the farm system, the pitching development team, and many other topics.  Forst also noted how the continued uncertainty over the Athletics’ future in Oakland impacts long-term planning, saying “this is sort of almost cliché at this point, but it’s hard, without a ballpark direction and timeline, to really make a plan on what the next few years look like.  Even internally, it’s hard to know what the team will look like the next couple of years.”
  • Forst also talked some trade possibilities both in the future and in the past, noting that of all the Athletics’ moves during the winter, the deal that sent Matt Olson to the Braves “was the one that we had most discussed prior to the lockout.”  Most of the other notable deals were largely negotiated post-lockout, however, leaving the A’s with little time to both remake their roster and bring in new talent.  “That’s why I sort of say there weren’t enough days to make those deals — which again, we knew we were gonna have to do — and also find ways…to get the current team to the level that we’ve sort of become accustomed to,” Forst said.  No such time crunch exists with the upcoming trade deadline, and to that end, Forst (unsurprisingly) said “there’s no panic” about moving Frankie Montas prior to August 2.  “We didn’t trade him in Spring Training because there wasn’t a trade that made sense for us.  That will continue to be the case.  Whether it’s at the deadline or next offseason or whatever, there’s not a feeling at all that in the next 30 days we have to trade Frankie Montas.”
  • Rob Refsnyder has been an unexpected hero for the Red Sox, posting a .931 OPS over 69 plate appearances since Boston selected his contract on June 10.  Refsnyder inked a minor league deal with the Sox just prior to the lockout, and he also drew interest from the Yankees during the offseason, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (hat tip to’s Bryan Hoch).  It would’ve been something of a reunion for Refsnyder in the Bronx, as he was a fifth-round draft pick for the Yankees back in 2012, and he was a well-regarded prospect during his time in New York’s farm system.  However, Refsnyder didn’t hit much in limited playing time in 2015-17, and a trade to the Blue Jays in 2017 kicked off a journeyman stretch for the utilityman — the Red Sox are the ninth different organization of Refsnyder’s career.

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