Munenori Kawasaki, Life without Munenori Kawasaki lasted just two games for the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto recalled the popular player from triple-A Buffalo on Thursday to fill a roster spot after left-fielder Melky Cabrera was put on the 15-day disabled list with left knee tendonitis.
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a run scored in a 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox before the team announced the move.
Kawasaki meanwhile is back after being optioned Tuesday to make room for the return of all-star Jose Reyes. He had two hits, scored a run and stole a base in one game with the Bisons.
The 32-year-old is batting just .225 with 17 RBIs in 60 games with Toronto, but Kawasaki is credited with re-energizing the Blue Jays and their fanbase after an ugly start to the season.
The Japanese shortstop filled in capably on the field for Reyes and contributed at the plate with timely hits.
His sunny personality and eccentric humour proved to be a hit in the locker-room and with fans, so much so that manager John Gibbons took the unusual step of personally announcing Kawasaki’s demotion to the team.
Cabrera meanwhile is hitting .278 with 29 RBIs and three home runs in 78 games. Kawasaki doesn’t play left field, so Cabrera’s likely replacement will be outfielder Rajai Davis.