Rasmus hits second

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 AM ET

TORONTO - Colby Rasmus started his first game for the Jays on Thursday and was rewarded by being slotted second in the lineup, batting in front of Jose Bautista. It was the expected spot for Rasmus, who spent the bulk of his at-bats with St. Louis in the No. 2 spot.

“It’s a spot in the lineup that he’s hit in before and frequently in the first half of this year,” manager John Farrell said. “To his credit, he just wants to go out and play. It wasn’t a strong preference on his part.

“His spot in the two hole is not a reflection on anyone else. Eric Thames has flourished in that spot. It gets him (Rasmus) to the top of the order. He’s a guy who has taken some walks, a guy whose had a very good approach at the plate and it’s a spot that has benefitted from the guys in the middle of the order that have hit behind him (specifically, Bautista).”

Reduced role

With the addition of Rasmus in the outfield, someone was going to get squeezed out of playing time and that someone is Rajai Davis, who opened the season as the Jays’ starting centre fielder. Davis has great speed, but that’s it. He is hitting .239 and defensively has taken some strange routes to balls.

“He’ll become more of a traditional fourth type of outfielder,” Farrell said.

Mills the man

In need of a starter for Saturday’s game, the Jays have opted for lefty Brad Mills and not right-hander Jesse Litsch. In 20 starts at triple-A Las Vegas this season, Mills has gone 9-7 with a 3.99 ERA. In 130 2/3 innings he has walked 35 and struck out 114.

Why Mills?

“The fact that Brad has thrown the ball exceptionally well in Las Vegas,” Farrell said. “I think he’s earned a spot. Brad has the opportunity to take this start and run with it.”

Roster moves

Prior to the game the Jays optioned INF Mike McCoy to triple-A Las Vegas. After the game the Jays optioned RHP P.J. Walters, who they acquired from St. Louis, to Las Vegas and recalled Litsch, who they will use in long relief.


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