BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays' current crop of relievers is the deepest in recent memory, but that overall talent pool is making it tough for some pitchers to find regular work.
Right-hander Casey Janssen was Toronto's primary setup man during the second half of last season, but he entered play on Tuesday having not pitched since April 14. However, Janssen pitched a scoreless eighth inning Tuesday evening, striking out two batters.
A right shoulder injury to Sergio Santos could open the door for Janssen to receive more innings, but compounding matters has been the performance of left-hander Luis Perez.
Perez, who was originally slated for long relief, hasn't allowed an earned run in 11 1/3 innings this season. He also has limited opponents to a .111 average (4-for-36) in seven appearances.
"He has to get back into a game first and foremost," manager John Farrell said of Janssen. "How Luis Perez has evolved, I'm not going to say has supplanted him or replaced other guys, he's done one [heck] of a job for us, Casey's fully ready to go and he will be in the mix."
Janssen has allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings this season. Last year, he went 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA while striking out 53 and walking 14 in 55 2/3 innings.
Santos out at least four weeks
BALTIMORE -- Sergio Santos will be out for at least the next four weeks due to inflammation in his right throwing shoulder.
Santos was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday for precautionary reasons and was then sent to be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in southern California.
The test results did not reveal any structural damage, but he was told not to throw for the next two weeks. The lack of activity during that time means Santos will have to go through rehab once he is given the green light and should miss at least a month.
"Ten to 14 days of no throw, and as we've used the typical rule of thumb, it's going to be at least the same number of days to get back to where he left off," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "That's going to take us right up to, probably, a four-week period."
Santos first experienced the soreness while recording a save in Friday's victory over the Royals. The pain still lingered the following day and there was a fear that Santos may have suffered a serious injury.
The level of concern was greater than normal because Santos had not experienced that type of soreness since being converted to a pitcher in 2009. Those worries were quickly alleviated, but the club isn't going to take any chances with something as serious as a right shoulder.
"He felt nothing last year, he felt nothing at any time while he's been converted to a pitcher and yet it showed up in that one outing and that's why we were concerned," Farrell said.
"If he didn't have this in Spring Training, and he didn't have anything leading up to that, then all of a sudden in one outing you have that kind of inflammation. We were concerned to the point of not questioning it, putting him on the disabled list and having him evaluated totally."
Santos, who was acquired from the White Sox during theoffseason, is 2-for-4 in save opportunities this year. He is being temporarily replaced by veteran Francisco Cordero at the back end of Toronto's bullpen.
Encarnacion moved to cleanup full-time
BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell officially named Edwin Encarnacion the club's new cleanup hitter on Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore.
Encarnacion had started out of the No. 4 spot in the lineup six times this season, but all of those games came against left-handed pitchers. Those starts are now expected to expand to pitchers from both sides of the mound.
Toronto's designated hitter has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team during the first three weeks of the season, which prompted the move to push Adam Lind down to No. 5.
"He has emerged as our four-hole hitter for right now," Farrell said of Encarnacion. "The fact that he and Adam are one slot apart in the lineup, it's not that big of a deal, but whether it has been against right-handers or left-handers, Eddie has swung the bat very well and has provided more consistent protection behind Jose [Bautista] ... That's the way we're going to go right now."
Encarnacion entered Tuesday's game in Baltimore tied for the team lead with four home runs, while also posting a .303 average and 13 RBIs. He has gone 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position and 20 of his hits this year have resulted in extra bases.
Encarnacion went 0-for-4 against the Orioles on Tuesday.
Lind, who opened the year as the Blue Jays' No. 4 hitter, has gotten off to somewhat of a slow start. He is batting just .222 with one homer and six RBIs in 14 games this season.