TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made five recalls from the Bisons as big-league rosters expanded and it was notable that infielder Matt Hague, named today as Buffalo's second International League MVP since 1961, was not one of them.
But from the sounds of things, Hague's time is coming once the Herd's season ends Monday in Pawtucket while the Blue Jays are in Boston. Hague got called up for the Blue Jays' series in Philadelphia on their most recent road trip and got one at-bat before returning to Buffalo.
"There's a good shot he'll come back and he's earned that," manager John Gibbons said during his pregame briefing with reporters in Rogers Centre prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians. "Is he the MVP now? Yeah, I think we need to then."
The Blue Jays called up Dalton Pompey, Munenori Kawasaki, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera and Jeff Francis on Tuesday.
Gibbons said catcher Josh Thole, temporarily sent to Class A Bluefield, will return tomorrow. Marcus Stroman is expected to join the big club if his rehab tomorrow at Class A Lansing and Monday in Buffalo's finale goes well. Hague and perhaps one other player, likely a pitcher like Steve Delabar or Chad Jenkins, could also get the call.
"Kawasaki gives us an extra infielder, Pompey an extra outfielder and pitching-wise we get a long guy because Francis can do that," Gibbons said. "Tepera is a multiple-inning guy and with 'Loupy' we brought him back to have a left-hander. You don't want to overload everything. Those guys fit a role we can use."
Gibbons was particularly happy with the reports on Pompey, who batted .327 with the Bisons after the All-Star break.
"He did a nice job ... You get here so young and it's quite common they go back down," Gibbons said of his Opening Day center fielder. "It can happen a couple times before it all comes together. He's a big part of the future here. We know that. We took a shot on him at the beginning of the season making the team. It didn't work out at the moment but we think he's going to be really good."
With the Blue Jays in the heat of the AL East pennant race, the Buffalo contingent doesn't figure to get a whole lot of playing time except in blowouts or if games go extended extra innings.
"They're here to help us in certain roles," Gibbons said. "But we're not afraid to play them if we need them."