May 27, 2012
Jays add arms, demote Gomes
By Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency
With their bullpen blasted apart the past two games and running on fumes, the Blue Jays called up two fresh arms for Sunday’s game in the form of RHP Jesse Chavez, who has been a starter at triple-A Las Vegas, and RHP Chad Beck, a reliever.
Chavez took over for Kyle Drabek in the fourth on Sunday and over the final five innings allowed three runs on four hits and saved more wear and tear on the bullpen.
RHP Ryota Igarashi, who was simply terrible in two relief appearances after being called up from Las Vegas Friday, was designated for assignment. Heading back to Vegas was INF Yan Gomes, which was a surprise since he was well regarded by manager John Farrell. Why Gomes and not David Cooper?
“It was difficult,” Farrell said of shipping out Gomes. “The fact is that Cooper’s left-handed bat gives us a little more balance.”
The Jays bullpen is simply gassed after Brandon Morrow was taken out in the first inning of Friday’s game followed by a 13-inning game on Saturday.
The only members of the bullpen other than the newcomers that were eligible for duty Sunday were lefty Luis Perez and Francisco Cordero, who was the closer for the day.
“Given the number of innings and pitches thrown by our bullpen the last two days, we needed to get two fresh arms in here,” Farrell said.
The roster moves bumped the bullpen corp to eight members for the short haul. The Jays should drop back to seven by the time the Jays open their three-game series against Baltimore on Monday. Sanchez, called up in case Drabek was shelled early, will likely move back to Las Vegas and be kept in a starting role. Expect Beck to stay for a while.
All the moves, coupled with Kelly Johnson’s hamstring/ligament issues reduced the Jays bench to just two players — backup catcher Jeff Mathis and OF Rajai Davis.
When SS Yunel Escobar left the game in the bottom of the fifth due to left groin tightness, Farrell had to bring Jose Bautista in from right to play third, bump Brett Lawrie from third to short and have Davis come on to play in right.
Johnson has been operating pretty efficiently at second base for about a month with a left hamstring issue but the problem has worsened of late. Johnson played Friday but following that game he received a cortisone shot, or “a trigger-point injection” as Farrell likes to call it, to the ligament in back of his knee.
He didn’t play Saturday and was out of the lineup again Sunday.
“He has soreness from the injection,” Farrell said. The overall condition of the hamstring is roughly the same. He was managing the pain through some treatments and the discomfort but the inflammation was localized and that’s why he received the trigger-point injection.”
How many days Johnson will be out is up in the air and depends on a number of factors.