OAKLAND -- Right-hander Joel Carreno officially joined the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon and even though he was battling a case of sleep deprivation, you couldn't tell by the wide grin on his face.

Toronto recalled Carreno to take the place of left-hander Brad Mills, who was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. Carreno, who has never pitched in the Majors, was originally scheduled to join the club late Thursday night but his flight from Washington, D.C., was cancelled.

The club offered to get him a hotel room around 1 a.m. ET when it heard the news, but manager John Farrell said Carreno didn't want to go anywhere.

"He had a 6 o'clock [a.m] flight," Farrell said. "I think he was so excited to get to the big leagues he said, 'I'm not leaving here, I'm not missing that next flight.' So he spent the night in the airport."

Carreno will be used out of Toronto's bullpen after moving through the Minor League ranks as a starter. He went 7-9 with a 3.41 ERA while striking out 152 in 134 2/3 innings this season for Double-A New Hampshire.

That high strikeout rate combined with a plus slider and low 90s fastball have caught the attention of the Blue Jays organization. For the past year, he has been pegged as a candidate to assume a late-inning-relief job.

"You know when you're a starter you're going to go six, seven innings," said Carreno, who thought he might be able to add a little bit of velocity to his fastball. "The difference when you come out of the bullpen, you're going to throw, maybe, two, three innings."

Carreno spent the past two offseasons pitching out of the bullpen in winter ball for Escondido in the Dominican Republic. He served in a similar role during Spring Training with Toronto, but Farrell said the club wants to do everything possible to ensure his latest transition to that role will be an easy one.

At least at the beginning, Toronto will avoid using Carreno in the middle of an inning.

"What we'd look to do is finish off an inning with a reliever ... and give him a chance to come in with a clean inning," Farrell said. "Start an inning off and be sure we give him ample time to get loose and get warm in a proper manner."

Perez gets crack at familiar starting role

OAKLAND -- Blue Jays left-hander Luis Perez will get an opportunity he has been waiting for all season when the 26-year-old takes the mound on Sunday afternoon in Oakland.

Perez is set to make the first start of his Major League career. The Dominican native came up through the Minors as a starter but has been used exclusively out of the bullpen in Toronto.

His role changed on Thursday when it was announced that left-hander Brad Mills had been optioned to Triple-A.

"I'm very happy because this is something I've been doing in the Minor Leagues," Perez said through interpreter Luis Rivera. "I've always been a starter.

"They needed a reliever when they called me up, but I believed I could start, and now I've got a chance and I'm prepared because everything I was doing, so far, it was the same thing I was doing as a starter."

Perez made eight starts for Triple-A Las Vegas this season and went 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA. He struck out 43 but issued 23 walks in 45 innings and has struggled with his control.

Perez will look to mix up his pitches a little bit more than he did out of the bullpen to make the necessary adjustments when hitters face him two or three times in the same game.

"It's going to be different because I know sometimes I'm going to face one hitter and I'm probably going to get him out," Perez said. "But now that hitter knows how I got him out the last time.

"So there's going to be something in my mind that I have to work with the catcher to find out which is the best way to get the guys out. It's going to be a little different because I have to face the guys a few times."

At some point, the Blue Jays likely will take another look at prospect Kyle Drabek or right-hander Dustin McGowan in the No. 5 spot of the rotation. But for now, the opportunity is Perez's, and he hopes to make the most of it.

"Hopefully I can show that I can start at the big league level," Perez said. "Given a chance, that's all I ever wanted to do.

"As long as I'm in the big leagues, that's fine, but this is something I was working forward to, being a starter in the big leagues."

Tallet gets rehab stint under way

OAKLAND -- Injured Blue Jays southpaw Brian Tallet officially began his rehab with a scoreless inning for Class A Dunedin on Thursday afternoon.

Tallet needed just 11 pitches to retire the side in order. He will receive a couple of days off before getting back on the mound Sunday afternoon.

"He incorporated a little bit lower arm slot than he had his first time here," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "But most importantly, he's healthy, he came out of it fine."

Tallet has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 4 with a strain in his rib cage. He will continue working his way back, and if all goes well, Tallet will rejoin the Blue Jays at the start of September.

The 33-year-old is 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in 13 innings this season. He joined Toronto on July 27 in a trade that also brought center fielder Colby Rasmus to the organization.

Worth noting

• With Thursday night's 7-0 win, Ricky Romero became the first Blue Jays pitcher to record two shutouts on the road in one season since David Cone in 1995. Romero also became only the second lefty in franchise history to have two shutouts in the same season. Jimmy Key did it four times, with the last in 1992.

• Right-hander Frank Francisco entered play Friday night riding a 10-inning scoreless streak. That is his longest stretch of the season and is just 2 2/3 innings off left-hander Luis Perez's club-high 12 2/3 this season.