Eveland designated for assignment by Jays
Reliever Purcey recalled from Triple-A to fill roster spot
PHOENIX -- Dana Eveland only knows one thing for certain: He is heading home to Los Angeles to clear his head. Beyond that, the pitcher can only wait to find out what will happen after the Blue Jays designated him for assignment on Sunday.
Eveland will be exposed to waivers, meaning another team could claim him and add the lefty to their big league roster. If he is not claimed, the Blue Jays plan on outrighting him to Triple-A Las Vegas to work through his recent issues on the mound. Either way, Eveland will know where he is headed within the next 10 days.
"I live only a few hours away," Eveland said after the Blue Jays' 12-4 win over the D-backs at Chase Field. "So I'll catch a flight back to L.A., go relax for a couple days and kind of let my mind settle a little bit and try to focus. I can't take a break. I've got to get back to work.
"Hopefully, I get claimed by somebody, get picked up by somebody. If not, I've got to go to Triple-A and work hard there."
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston reminded Eveland that the lefty could be back in the big leagues soon.
"If he goes and gets picked up or whatever happens to him, we're happy for him," Gaston said. "If he stays in the organization, he just needs to go down and work on some things. Like I told him, 'Who knows?' He could be right back here. Things happen quick."
In order to fill Eveland's place on the roster, left-hander David Purcey was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Purcey has a 5.81 ERA in 21 starts for the Blue Jays the past two years, including a 6.19 ERA in nine starts in 2009. The 28-year-old has spent the '10 season so far in the Minor Leagues, going 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Las Vegas, where he limited left-handed batters to a .188 batting average and has hurled six consecutive scoreless innings.
With an off-day Thursday, the Blue Jays could opt to go with a four-man rotation for now.
Eveland, 26, was acquired from the A's in exchange for cash considerations in February, and he made the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster with a stellar showing in Spring Training. The lefty continued to look solid over his first six starts, going 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA. Lately, though, things fell apart.
On Saturday, Eveland picked up a loss on the road against Arizona after allowing eight runs on eight hits over 1 1/3 innings, representing the shortest start of his career. Over his last three outings, he had allowed 34 baserunners over just 9 1/3 innings, giving up 19 runs (17 earned) on 23 hits with 10 walks over that span.
Overall, Eveland was 3-4 with a 6.45 ERA in nine starts for Toronto this season.
Under the circumstances, Eveland understood the Blue Jays' decision.
"I've thrown terribly my last three starts," Eveland said. "I'm wearing out the bullpen every time I take the field right now. I would do the same thing if I was them. It's part of the game. I've just got to get back to work. I've got to figure out what it was that made me successful my first few outings this year.
"I had some really good outings this year that proved to myself that I've still got it. I can still pitch in the big leagues. I know I can get these guys out. I just had a little funk these last few starts."
If the opportunity to pitch for Las Vegas comes up, Eveland said he would be thrilled to remain in the Blue Jays' organization.
"If I end up in Triple-A, I'm not going to be all that upset," Eveland said. "I really, really like this organization a lot. It's been my favorite organization I've been in, even though it's only been a couple months. There are great people in this organization, and it's a great team, great guys to be around.
"Top to bottom, it's the best organization I've been in."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.