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Blue Jays select Panik to 40-man roster

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays selected infielder Joe Panik to the 40-man roster on Monday and placed right-handed pitcher Yennsy Diaz on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Panik, 29, batted .381 with a triple, two home runs and five runs batted in through 10 pre-season games before MLB last week cancelled the rest of spring training and postponed opening day by two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MLB on Monday pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest after the U.S. federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement following a conference call with executives of the 30 teams.

Toronto was originally scheduled to open the season at home March 26 against the Boston Red Sox.

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Panik, a left-handed hitter, split his 2019 season between the San Francisco Giants (103 games) and the New York Mets (39 games), batting .244 with a .315 on-base percentage.

Panik was the 29th overall selection by San Francisco in the 2011 draft and won a World Series title with the Giants as a rookie in 2014.

The infielder has a career .271 batting average with 121 doubles, 19 triples, 38 homers and 233 RBI across 682 games over six seasons.

Diaz, 23, spent most of his 2019 season with double-A New Hampshire but made one appearance for the Blue Jays on Aug. 4, working 2/3 innings.

He made 24 starts and a pair of relief outings for the Fisher Cats, going 11-9 with a 3.74 earned-run average.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.

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