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04/14/12 10:04 PM ET

Laffey optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays optioned left-hander Aaron Laffey to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday night to make room on the 25-man roster for closer Sergio Santos.

Santos was placed on the paternity list on Friday in order to attend the birth of his third child, a boy. He returned to the club on Saturday afternoon and will be active for Sunday's series finale against Baltimore.

The decision to send Laffey to the Minors came down to the left-hander needing more innings as he tries to crack the Blue Jays' starting rotation later this month.

"We know that we need a starter on the 21st [of April], and we have to get Aaron back down to start and stretch out so he be a candidate for that spot," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

Because of two off-days in its early schedule, Toronto was able to go with a four-man rotation since right-hander Joel Carreno started against the Indians on April 8, but the club will need a fifth arm on April 21 in Kansas City.

Laffey was recalled to Toronto after the Blue Jays' home-opening series against the Red Sox but hasn't appeared in a game this season.

Evan Crawford, who was recalled from Double-A New Hampshire while Santos was away, will stick with the Blue Jays and pitch out of the bullpen.

"We feel like Evan has a little more matchup ability," Farrell said, "particularly if we get into a left-right-left-right type of situation and his potential effectiveness against right-handers."

Santos to come off paternity list Sunday

TORONTO -- Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos remains on paternity leave and will not be available until Sunday's series finale against the Orioles.

Santos was expected to arrive in Toronto before Saturday's contest, but he will receive another day off before being activated.

"He was unable to play catch because it rained out there in [California] the last two days, and he's probably working on limited sleep," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We don't feel like we are going to rush him into today's action. He'll be available tomorrow."

Farrell wants Santos actively throwing the ball before he gets him back into a game, as he hasn't thrown since collecting his first save of the season Wednesday against Boston.

Santos is on a throwing program that calls for him to toss every day, so Farrell wants to be careful with his closer.

"[It's] somewhat precautionary, but I think it's the prudent thing to do in Sergio's case," Farrell said.

Farrell said a decision on Evan Crawford, who was recalled from Double-A New Hampshire in the absence of Santos, is still to be determined. To make room for Santos on the 25-man roster, the Blue Jays will have to make a roster decision before he is activated.

Santos has missed the past two games as he went to California to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's third child, a boy, on Thursday.

The 28-year-old has appeared in four games this season and has converted one of three save opportunities.

Farrell not concerned with early offensive woes

TORONTO -- Manager John Farrell is not concerned about his team's early struggles at the plate and actually sees a lot of positives, despite the fact the Blue Jays are near the bottom of the league in many offensive categories.

"We're seven games in -- guys' timing is starting to become a little more consistent," Farrell said.

Toronto entered Saturday's contest against Baltimore with the lowest OBP (.272) in the American League and the second-lowest batting average (.204) and OPS (.615), but Farrell doesn't think it's affecting his players' psyche.

"It's constant maintenance," Farrell said. "The numbers at the beginning of the year can be magnified because you're starting at zeros, but I wouldn't say pressing at all.

"We've been efficient when we've got guys on base. ... I think we've run the bases exceptionally well. We've had some good situational hitting, some timely hitting."

Farrell believes that the important thing to look at is what his club is doing once it gets runners on, and early on, the Blue Jays have capitalized in that area.

Toronto has the second-highest average in the AL with runners in scoring position at .321, which has propelled it toward the top of the league in runs scored. The Blue Jays are tied with the Red Sox and Yankees for third in the league in runs, behind only the Tigers and Rangers.

"I think that's a lot to be said for what we do once we get on the basepaths and be opportunistic and take advantage of situations," Farrell said. "Runs are still the most important thing. I think for the vast majority of the seven games, defensively we've handled the ball very well, and that's allowed us to not only execute in critical spots, but give us the opportunity to score one run late to be the difference in some games."

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.