The Toronto Blue Jays have called up left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis while sending fellow left-hander Colt Hynes down to Triple-A as announced by the team.
The 34-year-old Francis signed with the Blue Jays this past offseason, but he did not make the team out of Spring Training. In fact, the one-time 17-game winner for the Colorado Rockies has failed to reach the double-digit win plateau since his career year in 2007. Stops with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, and New York Yankees have produced little success.
However, being back in the Majors excites the 10-year veteran as he told CBC Sports prior to the Blue Jays game against the Atlanta Braves.
"I don't think it matters what point you are in your career; it's a thrill when the manager calls and gives you the news," the North Delta, B.C, native said prior to Toronto's home game against the Atlanta Braves. "It's like you're 23 again, and I think the fact I know a lot of these guys from Spring Training makes an easier transition for me."
With Francis on the Major League roster, it makes the Vancouver native the fourth Canadian born player on the team. Alongside Russell Martin, Dalton Pompey, and Michael Saunders, Francis appreciates the opportunity to represent Canada with a slew of fellow Canadians.
"It's neat, especially here when you're playing with the Maple Leaf on your chest," Francis said. "It's a thrill."
As for Hynes, the 29-year-old reliever pitched to a 6.00 ERA in five appearances for the Blue Jays this season. A strong performance this spring helped the former San Diego Padres reliever earn a spot in Toronto's bullpen, but he could not sustain his effectiveness.
Instead, Toronto will look to see if Francis can recapture his past form, in which he anchored the rotation of a World Series runner-up. He is currently ticketed for the bullpen, but an injury to one of the Blue Jays' incumbent starters could force Francis into a starter's role.
For his career, Francis owns a record of 71-80 with a 4.95 ERA in 217 starts between the Rockies, Reds, Athletics and Yankees.