3/24/2013 6:11 P.M. ET
Gibbons looking at several options for final 'pen spot
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Sunday's game was supposed to bring some clarity to the Blue Jays, who are trying to fill the final spot in the bullpen. It's possible they could have two openings at the start of the season, if Casey Janssen's return from right shoulder surgery has a hiccup, but there's definitely at least one opening.
Asked if he found any of that clarity after a 14-5 road loss to the Twins, Toronto manager John Gibbons couldn't help but laugh.
"No," Gibbons said. "Tough day for all of 'em. I don't know what to say other than that. We're still making our decision."
Dave Bush, the veteran non-roster invitee, gave up six runs in two innings on a pair of home runs, six hits and one walk. Jeremy Jeffress, a flame-throwing 25-year-old out of options, let up five runs on three hits and two walks in one inning of work.
Bush came into the day with a 2.45 ERA after throwing three scoreless innings his last time out four days ago. Meanwhile, between Sunday and his last appearance, Jeffress has allowed a combined eight runs in three innings. Does the fact that the hiccups are coming later in spring mean anything for either pitcher?
"Well, I mean, they're in shape, they're throwing all their pitches and things like that," Gibbons said. "You can't throw everything out, if they pitched really good, I don't think that's fair to anybody. Guys who are locked into positions have had some rough outings themselves."
Bush and Jeffress had different reactions to their days.
"I made some really good pitches, you can't control what they do after I release the ball," Jeffress said. "But they didn't put any good swings on it. I just felt I did as much as I can. I felt great."
"Some guys are entitled to more bad outings," said Bush. "I know I don't have a whole lot of room for error, and I'm working against a lot of things, so I'm disappointed in the way I threw. There isn't a particular thing I can put my finger on other than I didn't command the ball on the edges of the plate very well."
Talent retention will likely come into play when a final decision is made regarding the final spot. Bringing Bush on board could mean losing Jeffress, but the opposite is not true. Gibbons said before the game that the Blue Jays are not considering carrying more than 12 pitchers at the moment.
Brett Cecil is in the mix too, and so is Dustin McGowan, with "a very remote outside shot, because we don't want to rush him," according to Gibbons. Cecil, like Jeffress, is out options.
"I still think it'll go down to the wire, whatever happens," Gibbons said. "There's only so many outings."