Nashua's Nolan heads to AAA
Nashua native Kevin Nolan is one step closer to the Major Leagues.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced Wednesday Nolan was transferred from New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo.
Nolan was not in the starting lineup for Buffalo Wednesday against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Steve Tolleson, a former major-league utility player with the A's and Orioles, started at shortstop for the Bisons.
Nolan started this season in Manchester with the Fisher Cats. In 10 games with New Hampshire, the shortstop batted .219 (seven-for-32) with one homer and five RBIs.
Nolan had a break-out game last Saturday, helping the Fisher Cats snap a six-game losing streak with an 8-4 win against Binghamton at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
He collected four hits in that game including a three-run homer in the first inning. Nolan added singles in the third, fifth and seventh innings for his first four-hit game of the season.
The first Granite State native to play for the Fisher Cats, Nolan appeared in a career-high 120 games last season with New Hampshire. He led the Fisher Cats last season with 118 hits, posting a .262 average with nine home runs and 60 RBIs.
He was selected to the Eastern League All-Star game and was named the Blue Jays Minor League Community Service Award winner in 2013. Nolan graduated from Nashua South and went to Winthrop University before being selected by Toronto in the 20th round of the 2009 draft.
Nolan's transfer leaves the Fisher Cats one below the 25-player roster limit. That's because the Blue Jays announced catcher Jack Murphy will remain with the Bisons.
Buffalo reported Wednesday the Blue Jays purchased the contract of infielder Munenori Kawasaki from the Bisons. The club also activated lefthander J.A. Happ from his injury rehabilitation assignment with Buffalo.
To make room on their roster, the Blue Jays optioned former Fisher Cats' catcher Erik Kratz to the Bisons.Kratz played six games with the Blue Jays this year, batting .200 (2-10) with a home run and four RBI. He homered in Toronto's first game of the season, hitting a pinch-hit homer in a 9-2 loss in Tampa Bay on March 31.Kratz is a three-time International League All-Star, receiving the honor with Indianapolis in 2009 and Lehigh Valley in 2010 and 2011. Last season, he played a career-best 68 games with Philadelphia and hit .213 (42-197) with seven doubles, nine homers and 26 RBIs.
Toronto also announced righthander Jeremy Jeffress has cleared waivers and has been out-righted to the Bisons. Buffalo righthander Marcus Walden was designated for assignment.