By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Some notes about Canadian big leaguers from the past few days:

O’Neill placed on seven-day IL

Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) has been placed on the seven-day injured list by the Boston Red Sox, retroactive to April 16. O’Neill suffered a concussion after colliding with Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers while they were pursuing a short fly ball hit by Cleveland Guardians outfielder Estevan Florial in the seventh inning of Monday’s game. O’Neill also required eight stitches for a cut over his left eye. He hasn’t played since the collision.

By placing O’Neill on the IL today, the Red Sox will be without him for at least the next four games.

O’Neill’s seven home runs this season are the second-most in the American League (Mike Trout has eight). Traded to the Red Sox by the Cardinals on December 8, the 28-year-old O’Neill is in his seventh major league season. The Junior National Team alum joined the Sox after enduring two injury-riddled campaigns with the Cardinals.

Pivetta not ready to return

O’Neill joins Canadian Red Sox teammate Nick Pivetta (Victoria, B.C.) on the sidelines. The 6-foot-5 right-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list by the Red Sox on April 10 (retroactive to April 6) with a right elbow flexor strain. Pivetta is eligible to return on Sunday, but that will not happen.

Julian McWilliams, of The Boston Globe, reports that Pivetta has been playing catch but has yet to throw off a mound during his recovery. The Red Sox have described Pivetta’s injury as “mild” but have not provided a timeline for the righty’s return.

Pivetta owns a 0.82 ERA and has struck out 13 in 11 innings in his two starts this season. The Junior National Team alum, who turned 31 on Valentine’s Day, is in his eighth big league campaign and his fourth with the Sox.

Paxton wants to play for Canada in the 2026 WBC

Jon Morosi, of the MLB Network, reported on Sunday that left-hander James Paxton recently told him that one of his goals is to pitch for Canada at the 2026 World Baseball Classic. Paxton (Ladner, B.C.) has never pitched for Canada in the tournament.

A Junior National Team alum, Paxton is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts, spanning 16 innings, for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. The veteran southpaw signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers in February after going 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts for the Red Sox last season. Prior to that, he had missed almost two full seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is in his 11th major league season.

Photo: Baseball Canada

Votto talks to Junior National Team

Few updates have been provided on Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) in recent weeks as he continues to train at the Toronto Blue Jays’ complex in Dunedin. After signing a minor league deal with the Blue Jays on March 10, Votto homered in his only Grapefruit League at bat in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater on March 17. Unfortunately, after returning to the dugout, he turned his ankle on a bat. He continues to rehab the ankle and will likely be assigned to one of the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates shortly. In the meantime, Votto paid a visit to the Junior National Team, who is holding their Extended Spring Training Camp in Dunedin, on Wednesday (photo above).

The 40-year-old Votto played 17 seasons with the Reds before signing with the Blue Jays. A seven-time winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award and the 2010 National League MVP, Votto has 2,135 major league hits, which leaves him just 25 behind Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) for most by a Canadian. Votto already owns Canadian major league records for most games (2,056), plate appearances (8,746), walks (1,365), All-Star Game selections (6) and on-base percentage (OBP) (.409).

Jackie Robinson debuted with the Montreal Royals on this date 78 years ago.

April 18 in Canadian baseball history

1917 – Third baseman Ty LaForest was born in Edmundston, N.B. He batted .250 in 52 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1945. Sadly, he passed away when he was just 30 of a heart ailment caused by pneumonia.

1946 – Jackie Robinson made his integrated professional baseball debut with the International League’s Montreal Royals. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and two stolen bases in the Royals’ 14-1 win over the Jersey City Giants at Roosevelt Stadium.

2008 – Left-hander David Purcey made his big league debut with the Blue Jays. He started and allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings, but also walked seven batters in the Blue Jays’ eventual 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre.

2018 – After 10 seasons with the Blue Jays, Jose Bautista signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. He belted two home runs in 12 games with the Braves before being released on May 20, 2018 and signed by the Mets two days later.

The post Canadian MLB baseball notes: Tyler O’Neill, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Jackie Robinson appeared first on Cooperstowners in Canada.