Loading articles...

Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna to plead not guilty to assault: lawyer

Last Updated Jun 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm EST

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna warms up at Spring Training in Dunedin, Fla., on February 13, 2018. A lawyer for Roberto Osuna says the Toronto Blue Jays closer will not be in court today for his first appearance to face an assault charge. Domenic Basile says he will appear on Osuna's behalf. The 23-year-old pitcher was charged with one count of assault by Toronto police early last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna intends to plead not guilty to an assault charge, his lawyer said Monday.

The 23-year-old closer was arrested last month in connection with what his lawyer, Domenic Basile, called an alleged domestic incident.

Osuna did not attend the court hearing Monday, but his lawyer said the Crown had turned a “substantive” amount of their evidence over to Osuna’s defence team.

“I spoke to him this morning (and) he loves Toronto, he loves the Toronto Blue Jays and he wants to be back on the mound pitching for them,” Basile told reporters outside court.

Osuna, who earns $5.3 million per year, appeared in 15 games for the Jays earlier this season.

Major League Baseball put the Mexico native on paid administrative leave after his arrest and is renewing it on a weekly basis, Basile said. On Monday, the administrative leave was extended through June 25.

“He is going to continue to work out and throw the ball and be ready to come back when he is authorized to be back and play by Major League Baseball,” Basile said of his client, who was released on bail in May.

Osuna’s case is scheduled to return to court July 9.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version gave an incorrect date for the next court appearance.