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02/21/10 10:52 AM ET

Jays place Hayhurst on 60-day DL

Reliever likely out four to six months with shoulder injury

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays placed reliever Dirk Hayhurst on the 60-day disabled list on Sunday, removing him from the club's roster.

Hayhurst, who underwent surgery to repair fraying in the labrum of his right shoulder on Feb. 5, is expected to be sidelined for most of the upcoming season. Hayhurst was initially in the running for a spot in the bullpen this spring.

Hayhurst, 28, who injured his shoulder this winter while preparing for the upcoming season, will be out for at least four to six months, according to the Blue Jays. The operation, originally described as an exploratory procedure, was performed by Dr. Schickendantz in Cleveland.

After the Jays signed Hayhurst as a Minor League free agent shortly before Spring Training last season, he spent a majority of the year with Triple-A Las Vegas, posting a 3.75 ERA over 25 games. Over 15 games with the Blue Jays, Hayhurst fashioned a 2.78 ERA with 13 strikeouts and two walks over 22 2/3 innings.

That showing had Hayhurst in a good position to compete for a bullpen job in what is expected to be a wide-open race for a handful of vacancies this spring. The injury is an unfortunate development for Hayhurst, who is the author of the book, "The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran," scheduled to be released on March 30.

With the recent signings of reliever Kevin Gregg and catcher Jose Molina, the Blue Jays 40-man roster stands at capacity. In order to clear room for Molina, Toronto placed injured starter Jesse Litsch (right elbow) on the 60-day DL on Friday.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.