Anyone expecting sweeping changes to the Blue Jays’ roster or lineup card today are going to be disappointed. The bullpen — the one that has allowed 21 runs over its last 10 innings of work — remains the same. The lineup was still the go-to nine for manager Cito Gaston.
Gaston did admit this afternoon that he needs to give left-hander Jesse Carlson more of a break. Carlson, who leads American League relievers with 26 appearances and paces Jays relievers with 26 innings, has given up 10 runs over his last 9 1/3 innings.
This weekend, right-hander Scott Richmond is available out of the bullpen as well. Why skip Richmond’s turn over, say, Brian Tallet (a converted reliever), Casey Janssen (coming back from a shoulder injury) or Ricky Romero (a young rookie)? Gaston said, in his opinion, Richmond is the “fifth starter.” So, it’ll be 12 days between starts for Richmond (4-2, 3.63).
There was a minor transaction for the Blue Birds today. The club voided the option on right-hander Robert Ray and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Other than that, Toronto opted not to push the panic button and blow up a bullpen that, well, has blown up on them lately.
As far as lefty Scott Downs, who suffered a mild hamstring strain on Wednesday, Gaston said the pitcher is available to pitch. That’s good news for the Jays, who could ill-afford to be without their closer — what with the struggles of former closer B.J. Ryan and Carlson and all.
Here’s to avoiding loss No. 10. Jays haven’t lost that many in a row since ’94.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. George Kottaras, C
9. Julio Lugo, SS
Starter: RHP Tim Wakefield (6-2)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Kevin Millar, DH
8. Lyle Overbay, 1B
9. Rod Barajas, C
Starter: RHP Casey Janssen (0-1)
Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian