Let the roster moves begin.
The Buffalo Bisons had to shuffle their roster the morning of Saturday’s season opener when scheduled starting pitcher Casey Lawrence was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays.
A wrench was thrown into the Jays’ bullpen plans Friday night when starting pitcher Francisco Liriano got only one out and gave up five runs in a 10-8 loss at Tampa Bay. The Jays used six pitchers.
The Bisons called on 35-year-old Jarrett Grube, who had been scheduled to start on Tuesday, to take the mound for Opening Day.
Grube responded by getting the win, allowing two runs and six hits over five innings.
“All of a sudden we made a phone call to him and said you’ve got to pitch today,” said Bisons manager Bobby Meacham. “To give us at least five innings was outstanding.”
Grube, who figures to be a spot starter and long reliever, has pitched in Triple-A for the better part of the past eight seasons. Danny Barnes pitched the last 1 1-3 innings and got the save.
Coming: The Jays optioned 25-year-old reliever Dominic Leone to Buffalo. Leone appeared in 25 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.
Defensive gem: Darrell Ceciliani made a head-long dive to catch a hard line drive to left-center field by Rob Refsnyder in the eighth inning. Ceciliani hit .282 in 82 games for Buffalo last season.
Prospects: Rowdy Tellez is the only top-10 Toronto prospect in Buffalo. Unlike last year, the Jays' top prospects are getting closer to Buffalo. Five of Toronto’s top-10 prospects are on the Double-A roster. There’s a good chance some of them will get up to Buffalo this season.
DL report: Jon Berti, potential starter at second base for the Herd, is out with a concussion, which is either the third or fourth of his career. He spent most of last season in Double-A. He’s one of five players on The Buffalo disabled list. Another is veteran outfielder Jose Tabata, who has played 509 big-league games. The others are pitchers Taylor Cole, Lucas Harrell and Blake McFarland.
Throwbacks: As part of the 30th-season celebration at Coca-Cola Field, the Bisons wore throwback jerseys from the 1988 season Saturday, and they’ll wear them at selected games throughout the season. Meacham wore the same uniform when he played for the Bisons in 1989.
Counting the house: Paid attendance was 7,418. The Bisons improved to 19-11 in home openers downtown.
Up next: The Bisons and RailRiders play a doubleheader on Sunday, with the first game starting at 12:35 p.m. (Radio 1520). Veteran Mat Latos will pitch the opener for the Bisons against Dietrich Enns. Latos, 29, is a 6-foot-6 right-hander with a 71-58 big-league record. He won 14 or more games three times in the majors and was eighth in the Cy Young voting in 2010, when he went 14-10 for the Padres. Enns is a left-hander who went to Central Michigan and who was drafted by the Yankees in 2010. In the second game, Matt Dermody pitches for Buffalo against a pitcher to be announced. Dermody, 26, went through three levels last season and pitched five games in Toronto down the stretch of the run to the playoffs.