The Blue Jays have promoted slick-fielding Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from double-A New Hampshire to triple-A Las Vegas.
Hechavarria has drawn rave reviews for his defensive prowess but is still adapting to professional pitching. With the Fisher Cats, he had 109 hits in 464 at-bats for a .235 average. He also recorded 22 doubles, six triples, six home runs and 46 RBIs.
Manager John Farrell said that has been the target of the Jays since spring training. “We wanted to get him against some older, veteran pitching before this year was out,” he said.
RHP Carlos Villanueva, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right forearm Aug 5, started his throwing program Friday in Dunedin, Fla.
Villanueva opened the season in the bullpen but then was moved into a starting role when Jesse Litsch was placed on the DL with a shoulder impingement.
Farrell said that when Villanueva returns to the Jays he will be placed back in the bullpen as the Jays want to keep his innings down as well as see how starters Brad Mills and Henderson Alvarez perform.
JAYS SIGN FOUR
The Jays announced Friday that they have signed four more of their 2011 June draft picks including Canadian right-hander Thomas Robson, a fourth-round pick from Ladner, B.C. According to Baseball America, Robson signed for a $325,000 US bonus.
Among the Jays signings was outfielder Jacob Anderson, a supplemental pick who was selected 35th overall. The Jays also signed RHP Brady Dragmire, a 17th-round pick, and OF Derrick Loveless, who was taken in the 27th round.
The Jays have now signed 27 of their 50 picks but have yet to ink their first-round pick, right-hander Tyler Beede.
Beede, 18, has committed to attend Vanderbilt University. The Jays have until Aug. 15 to reach agreement with Beede. If they fail to sign him they will receive an additional first-round pick in next year’s draft.