Reed sent to Vegas, baby

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:36 PM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Jeremy Reed had made the slow walk before.

In the hallway to the main clubhouse, he stopped beside the drink cooler to talk with reliever Casey Janssen.

The two talked in hushed tones.

Janssen rolled his eyes.

Reed had given him the news: He has been sent down to triple-A Las Vegas.

“It’s tough to deal with, it never crossed my mind,” Reed told reporters sitting at his locker as he packed, after meeting with manager Cito Gaston, general manager Alex Anthopoulos and assistant GM Tony LaCava.

Also demoted were lefty relievers Jesse Carlson and David Purcey.

Reed was hitting .431 with 10 RBIs in 19 games. Not every day does a team send down a .400 hitter. Well, not since the days when the Jays would demote Rob Ducey or Mitch Webster.

“Hopefully, this makes me a better player. I’m at a place where I try to look at the positives,” Reed said. “They gave me the opportunity, they gave at-bats. I had a fair shot.”

The nod for a bench role goes to infielder/outfielder Mike McCoy, who runs like a rabbit and would fit J.P. Ricciardi’s description of a “dirt bag” for he always has a dirty uniform.

“The first time I was sent down (with the Seattle Mariners), I had 21/2 years service time. I wouldn’t say I’m at peace with anything,” Reed said. “Vegas is a place that you can get into a lot of trouble.”

Reed is hoping he doesn’t live up to the city slogan of “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” He probably won’t get a gig working for the Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

Purcey was converted from a starting role — after opening 2009 in the rotation — to the bullpen.

“I looked forward to seeing Purcey this spring, he was so relaxed, he believes in himself, watching him gives me goose bumps,” Gaston said. Purcey pitched 71/3 innings allowing four runs on 10 hits and three walks, while striking out six.

“The other day against Detroit he got to 3-2 on a hitter, kept throwing him strikes, foul ball after foul ball, until he got him out,” Gaston said. “A year ago it would have been ball four.”

Anthopoulos said McCoy had made the team after hitting .476, while Carlson was hampered with a knee injury. He only pitched two innings, plus one in a minor-league game, but figured he would be on the third-base line for pre-game introductions come Monday in Arlington, Tex.

“Reed played well enough to make this team, I told him there was nothing more he could do,” Anthopoulos said, who unlike other Jays GMs is in the room on cut-down day. “Purcey pitched well enough to make this team.”

The Jays have not decided if Purcey will be the closer at Vegas, but he will adjust to his new role pitching on back-to-back days, getting ready in a hurry and handling “the dry humps” warming up, not being used and having to warm up a second time.

“It was not a sad day,” Anthopoulos said. “Purcey had an exciting spring, going with strictly his fastball and slider.”

Morning workout

Opening day starter Shaun Marcum will pitch in a simulated game at the Bobby Mattick Facility and John Buck, who injured his index finger on his left hand last weekend, will catch.

bob.elliott@sunmedia.ca


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