Blue Jays designate Purcey for assignment
Club has 10 days to trade, release or place reliever on waivers
SEATTLE -- Left-hander David Purcey was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Tuesday afternoon.
The 28-year-old entered Spring Training expecting to be a major component of Toronto's bullpen, but his inability to throw strikes on a consistent basis ultimately cost him a job.
Purcey walked four batters in 2 1/3 innings this season. Over his four-year career in the Major Leagues, he has averaged 4.7 walks per nine innings.
"With respect to David, the last few outings in the spring weren't great, the three outings here," said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "That's always been the issue with him. He has always had a tremendous arm, great teammate, and the issue has always been command and the ability to throw strikes."
The Oklahoma native was out of options on his contract and could not be sent down to the Minor Leagues without being designated for assignment. The Blue Jays now have 10 days to decide whether to trade, release or place Purcey on waivers.
"I expect to be able to trade him," Anthopoulos said. "Because he's out of options, we have 10 days to do something with him, and I've had enough interest from other clubs that I believe we'll be able to move him before that 10-day window expires."
Purcey's last game in a Blue Jays uniform likely occurred Monday night against Seattle. He was asked to protect a 7-1 lead in the eighth inning but managed to retire just one of the four batters he faced.
The 16th overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Purcey was 5-10 with a 5.42 ERA in 59 career games with Toronto. The Blue Jays gave him plenty of time to develop at both the Minor and Major League levels, but the club felt it had to pull the plug because of his contract situation.
"It's not a matter of running out of patience with him -- we ran out of options with him," Anthopoulos said. "Options in the ability to send him to the Minor Leagues, because right now, with the way he is throwing, the ideal scenario for us would have been for him to have an option to go down to work out the problems to get his command back.
"The fact that he is out of options, these are the choices that we had to make, and hopefully we'll be able to find a spot for him, which I feel confident that we will."
Janssen, Mills brought up from Las Vegas
SEATTLE -- The Blue Jays recalled relievers Casey Janssen and Brad Mills from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the club officially placed center fielder Rajai Davis on the 15-day disabled list and designated left-hander David Purcey for assignment.
Toronto's bullpen has thrown 36 innings this season, which is the second-most in the American League behind Kansas City. That high workload, combined with a looming series against the Red Sox, caused the Blue Jays to opt for an eight-man bullpen, at least for the time being.
"It was just a matter of being able to protect our 'pen right now, and then going into a series in Boston where you know it's going to be a grind," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell. "It's more to protect ourselves and to protect our bullpen. The 14-inning game [against Los Angeles] really took a lot out of us, and the last few as well."
Janssen appeared in three games for the Blue Jays this season and didn't allow a run in 2 1/3 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday to make room for veteran reliever Octavio Dotel.
Mills started the year with Las Vegas, and is 1-1 with a 7.80 ERA in 30 innings during his two seasons in the Major Leagues. He will become Toronto's second left-hander out of the bullpen following the departure of Purcey.
Utility player Mike McCoy was originally expected to be recalled to the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The 30-year-old was optioned to the Minor Leagues on Sunday and cannot be recalled for 10 days unless it's to replace a player on the disabled list.
Toronto intended to have McCoy take Davis' spot on the 25-man roster, but the club instead decided to recall Janssen. That means McCoy will most likely have to wait the full 10 days before having a chance to rejoin the Blue Jays.
"It was just a matter of what did we have more of a need for," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Did we have a need for the arm or the position player? That's something I talked to John [Farrell] about, and he's the one that's going to ultimately manage the game.
"We want to keep these guys fresh. We can pitch them, but we're 10 games into the season and we don't want to burn these guys out or wear them out too early."
Outfielder Travis Snider will act as the backup center fielder to Corey Patterson until the club is able to activate a fourth outfielder.
Farrell doesn't regret Monday's decisions
SEATTLE -- John Farrell woke up Tuesday morning without any regrets about the managerial decisions he made in Monday's 8-7 loss to the Mariners.
Farrell was criticized in some quarters for deciding to intentionally walk Ichiro Suzuki with two outs and a runner on third base. Ichiro later stole second base to put both the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
That set the table for unproven Luis Rodriguez. He came through with a game-winning RBI single to center field, which snapped Seattle's seven-game losing streak.
"Sitting here today, you can look at any number of things and say, 'Why didn't this happen, or why didn't that happen,'" Farrell said. "But given the factors at hand, six pitchers already in the game out of the bullpen, ending up in a one-run situation, two outs, man at third base with one of the best hitters in the history of the game at the plate, opting to walk him and go up against a young switch-hitter -- we would go in that direction again."
Farrell also offered further explanation on why closer Jon Rauch wasn't called into the game to start the bottom of the ninth inning to protect the one-run lead. With Rauch as the only man left in the bullpen, the Blue Jays decided to preserve him in case extra innings were required.
That meant right-hander Shawn Camp was brought back out to start the ninth inning after he induced an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
"We felt that as well as Shawn Camp has been pitching, we didn't have any issues," Farrell said. "We felt like if Ichiro got a base hit there, we had to protect going possibly 13 innings again. There was a number of things that came into play with that ultimate decision."