Notes: Wolfe gets big-league call
Rookie adds an arm to already-crowded Jays bullpen
TORONTO -- The last thing Brian Wolfe expected was a call from the Blue Jays. Just one glance over Toronto's roster, and even he didn't think he was on the verge of joining the big-league bullpen.
The Blue Jays had seven pitchers in their relief corps -- two who have seen very limited work over the past month. Still, Wolfe was called into Syracuse manager Doug Davis' office on Monday to receive the news that Toronto was promoting the right-hander to the Majors.
"It caught me by surprise, knowing they had a full bullpen up here and some rested arms," Wolfe said on Tuesday at Rogers Centre. "It's good to get the call, though. I was very excited. I've worked hard to get this far for a very long time. It's good to finally be here."
Toronto manager J.P. Ricciardi said that Wolfe, who was acquired in the trade that sent third baseman Corey Koskie to the Brewers in January 2006, gave the Jays little choice in the matter. The 26-year-old gave up no runs in seven spring outings for Toronto, and then posted a 0.84 ERA in 14 relief appearances with Triple-A Syracuse.
"At some point, the guys are just glaring at you, [those who deserve] the chance to come up," Ricciardi said. "He's done a good job and he deserves the chance. We need another arm in the bullpen."
Ricciardi and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons both insisted that the club needed another reliever, despite the fact that right-handers Josh Towers and Jamie Vermilyea have logged few innings this month. Towers has been used just four times since being pulled from the rotation in late-April, and Vermilyea hasn't pitched since May 10.
For now, Toronto will maintain an eight-man bullpen, but Gibbons said wouldn't be the case for too long. The Jays' skipper hinted that more changes to the bullpen might be in store when starter Roy Halladay is activated from the 15-day disabled list for a start on Thursday. After Monday's win over the Yankees, Gibbons also indicated that Vermilyea's shoulder was sore.
"When Halladay's activated, somebody will have to go, so stay tuned," said Gibbons, who wouldn't elaborate.
The Jays optioned utility man Ryan Roberts to Triple-A on Monday night to clear room for Wolfe on the active roster. Gibbons said Toronto would need to call up an additional bench player soon, especially since the Jays head back into Interleague Play on the road beginning next week.
"We're shorthanded right now. We're not going to go that way very long," Gibbons said. "Then we go out to the West Coast for some National League games. So, we'll have to make some adjustments. We probably need a guy who can do a little bit of everything. A left-handed bat might be nice."
Second opinion: Toronto left-hander Gustavo Chacin, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury since late April, is scheduled to undergo a second MRI exam later this week. Chacin has shown little improvement, and the Jays want to find out if the first test didn't reveal the full extent of the injury.
"He's just not feeling right," Ricciardi said. "[Toronto's medical staff is] trying everything they can to find out what the problem is. They don't seem to be able to, I don't know if it's pinpoint it, but get to it and treat it. Maybe the second MRI will hopefully show something."
Ricciardi said he didn't believe Chacin's injury would be season-ending, but he believed the lefty's return might take "a little longer than maybe we expected." Ricciardi wouldn't offer a guess as to how long that might be, though. In five starts this year, Chacin is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA.
Clearing room: In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Wolfe, Toronto transferred injured right-hander Brandon League (shoulder) to the 60-day DL. The move was more of a paperwork move than anything else, considering League would still be eligible to be activated from the DL later this week. Ricciardi said that League was beginning a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin on Tuesday.
"He's coming along really well," said Ricciardi, who added that League recently hit 94 mph with his fastball. "He's coming along probably faster than we thought, in the sense of getting his velocity back. That's been a help. But it's not all about the velocity; he's also getting the movement."
Late scratch: Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, who has been bothered by a bone spur in his left heel all season, was pulled from Toronto's starting lineup shortly before game time Tuesday night. Glaus sat out due to soreness in his foot Sunday. Glaus is hitting .278 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games for Toronto this season.
New TV deal: The Blue Jays announced Tuesday that they reached a two-year agreement with the CBC to broadcast Toronto games during the 2007-08 seasons. This year, the CBC will broadcast Jays games against the Rockies on June 23-24, the Mariners on July 21, the Rangers on Aug. 4-5, the Yankees on Aug. 6, and the Mariners again Sept. 1-2. The network will televise 20-30 games in 2008.
Coming up: Toronto right-hander Jesse Litsch (1-1, 4.24 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound when the Blue Jays host the Yankees in the finale of a three-game set at 7:07 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Rogers Centre. New York will counter with righty Tyler Clippard (1-1, 3.60 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.