TORONTO -- The Blue Jays paid tribute to the 11th anniversary of the horrific Sept. 11 attacks with a ceremony prior to Tuesday night's game against the Mariners.
A moment of silence was observed at Rogers Centre prior to the start of the game to honor the lives that were lost in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The ceremonial first pitch was then thrown out by acting division commander Len Stadler of the Toronto Fire Services, while the national anthems were sung by Damien Walsh, who is also with the TFS.
In addition to the pregame ceremony, the Blue Jays wore special ballcaps which had badges with both the Canadian and United States flags. This was part of a series of commemorations that were taking place across the Major Leagues to remember the Sept. 11 tragedy.
Jenkins could join rotation in late September
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still plan on going to a six-man rotation this month, but the move will happen a little later than originally anticipated.
Left-hander J.A. Happ was recently shut down for the season after being diagnosed with a fractured right foot. That injury moved Aaron Laffey back into the rotation, and means the six-man rotation won't be unveiled until late September.
The Blue Jays are set to play a doubleheader against the Orioles on Sept. 24, which will create the need for an additional starter, and it's likely that they'll keep the rotation intact from that point on.
"Right now, [Chad] Jenkins is a guy that we've talked about being the guy that would get one of those games," manager John Farrell said of the doubleheader. "Then, going forward from there, we run it out consecutively, so I think coming out of that doubleheader, we'll take a look. He may continue on after that. Might be one more start after that. That's who, right now, we're looking at."
Jenkins entered this season as one of the club's top pitching prospects, but suffered through a somewhat disappointing year with Double-A Hampshire. He began to turn things around in late July and eventually earned a promotion in August.
Since Aug. 7, Jenkins has appeared in nine games out of the bullpen. He is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA while striking out eight in 17 innings of work. Jenkins would have an outside chance of competing for a starting job next spring and the club would like to get a look at him in that role before the end of the year.
With an off-day looming on Monday, the decision to stick with five starters for the time being won't impact the Blue Jays' stance on left-hander Ricky Romero for at least another two turns through the rotation. Toronto has planned on giving Romero an additional day of rest for each remaining start and will still be able to do that until Sept. 23 due to the upcoming off-day.
Gose expected to start in left on Wednesday
TORONTO -- Outfielder Anthony Gose is expected to make his first career start in left field on Wednesday night against the Mariners.
Gose has appeared in 34 games with the Blue Jays this season, with all of the starts coming in center or right field. The desire to take a look at Gose in left comes because Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista have the other two positions locked down for the foreseeable future.
The 22-year-old Gose could enter next season with a shot at the starting job in left field, and if successful, would become a candidate to hit leadoff due to his plus speed on the basepaths.
"I think we all view him as a future leadoff hitter," manager John Farrell said. "As he is settling in here, and as he's working through his swing mechanics and the adjustments that he's undertaking, his skill set profiles in that slot. Certainly wouldn't discount it at this point."
Gose entered play on Tuesday night hitting .223 with a homer, two doubles and three triples while recording 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts. The numbers have been much better since he returned to the club as a September callup.
A California native, Gose is hitting .500 (6-for-12) while displaying a new batting stance that has kept him from pulling off the ball as much as he has in the past.
Rested Romero returns to rotation on Wednesday
TORONTO -- Left-hander Ricky Romero will make his return to the Blue Jays starting rotation on Wednesday night after being skipped the last turn through.
Romero hasn't pitched since he surrendered seven runs on eight hits in just one-plus innings of work against the Rays on Sept. 2. The organization's hope is that the nine days of rest in between outings will lead to a fresher and stronger Romero on the hill against Seattle.
"His bullpen sessions have been consistent with what he has been doing in the past, in terms of his routine," manager John Farrell said. "But I think more than anything, this is an opportunity to give him a little bit of a physical breather."
The Blue Jays continue to search for reasons behind Romero's disappointing season. The former ace is 8-13 with a Major League worst 5.85 ERA among qualified starters while posting an American League high 90 walks.
The problem is that the numbers don't seem to suggest that Romero has performed any better on extra rest. He has a 4.21 ERA (27 ER/57 2/3 IP) with one additional day, but a 7.52 ERA (17 ER/20 1/3 IP) on two or more.
But if the additional day proves beneficial this time around, then it still could draw some conclusions for the Blue Jays coaching staff.
"That possibly two consecutive years of over 200 innings has a residual effect," Farrell said. "It's not uncommon to see trends start to develop with pitchers. Two very good years, followed by a year in which they can scuffle at times, or go through periods where things aren't as sharp or clicking as they've done previous. We won't know that fully until next year when we see year four following the three-year pattern."
Romero entered this year having thrown more than 210 innings in each of his past two seasons and 178 innings during a 2009 rookie campaign.