Villanueva on the DL

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:26 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Suspicious about Carlos Villanueva’s sudden inability to miss opponents’ bats, the Jays sent the right-handed pitcher for an MRI Thursday and while there doesn’t seem to be a specific injury, they’ve placed him on the 15-day disabled list with what they’re calling a forearm strain.

Villanueva gave up eight runs on nine hits, including three home runs in less than three innings on Wednesday against the Rays.

Luis Perez has been recalled to take Villanueva’s spot on the roster but he will go into the bullpen.

With an off-day Monday, the Jays don’t need a fifth starter until next week.

“He’s feeling some strain in the forearm,” said manager John Farrell. “That’s the reason we put him on the disabled list. This is probably as much about fatigue as anything.”

Nobody has been selected for promotion to that starting spot but Farrell did say that Henderson Alvarez, who is having an excellent season at double-A is under consideration

“He would be a candidate at this point,” said Farrell. “Right now, we’re going to use the off-day Monday to stay on turn with the four remaining starters.”

Blowed up real good

The Jays blew two saves yesterday, both in extra innings and now have 19 blown saves for the year. They are just 23-for-42 as a team in save chances this year. This was the first time in Tampa Bay history that the team has scored in three consecutive extra innings.

Betting on Brett

Roving infield instructor Mike Mordecai has been working from time to time with Brett Lawrie on improving his fielding fundamentals at Vegas and only after Mordecai signed off on Lawrie as a major-league ready fielder did GM Alex Anthopoulos decide it was time for him to join the Jays.

“He had some bad habits and Mike went in recently to help him fine tune things defensively,” said Anthopoulos. “When we bring a guy up, we know there is a chance he’ll have to go back down but we want to put players in a position for success when they come up.


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