4/26/2014 3:30 P.M. ET
Slow-starting Encarnacion gets day off
By Jamie Ross / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Power-hitting first baseman Edwin Encarnacion got the day off Saturday against the Red Sox.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said giving Encarnacion the day off made sense because of his struggles against Boston starter Clay Buchholz. Encarnacion is just 1-for-21 lifetime against the right-hander.
"Buchholz has been real tough on him," Gibbons said prior to Saturday afternoon's game. "It's a perfect day for it, but he'll be sitting over there waiting."
Typically a home run threat at the plate, Encarnacion's start to the season has been relatively slow. The 31-year-old has just one home run through 23 games this season, during which he's hitting .225 (20-for-89).
During March/April in 2013, he had nine dingers, and the year before he had eight during that span. Gibbons said he's confident his cleanup hitter will come around soon.
"It's gonna happen, I have no doubt in my mind [he'll break out]," Gibbons said. "You look around the league, some of the top sluggers are off to slow starts. That's the way it goes sometimes, but you have to believe."
Diaz receives 2013 World Series ring
TORONTO -- Blue Jays infielder Jonathan Diaz was showing off his new bling prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Red Sox.
Diaz finally got his hands on the sport's most coveted prize: a World Series ring.
"There are guys who have played so long in the big leagues that don't have one, and here I am sitting here with one. It's almost like a dream."
Diaz earned the ring as a member of the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox, with whom he played five games before being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket in his only season with the team.
Red Sox manager John Farrell and assistant general manager Mike Hazen made a presentation to Diaz in a private ceremony before Saturday's game. Farrell managed the Blue Jays through two Spring Training camps that Diaz attended, so to receive his ring from a familiar face made the moment all the more special. Brian Butterfield, the Red Sox current third-base coach, was also a member of the Blue Jays coaching staff during Diaz's first stint with Toronto.
"We got to know each other pretty well," Diaz said. "And I know how hard they work. You know what they put in and the sacrifices they make. It's one of those things where I was able to be a part of that clubhouse for a week, to see that chemistry and how they work and get along. It's something very special and I'm just glad to be able to be a part of it."
As for where he'll store his most prized possession, Diaz said it'll be locked up tight.
"I'm going to put it away, probably in a safe deposit box," he said. "I'm not sure how I'll get it back to the States. I might have my wife take it back."
Jenkins gets a look in Blue Jays' bullpen
TORONTO -- Chad Jenkins doesn't believe he's entitled to a spot on the Blue Jays roster. It's a distinction that's earned, he said prior to their home game against the Red Sox.
"This is the big leagues, the highest of the highs, so you've got to earn it," said Jenkins, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night following Boston's 8-1 win over Toronto. To make room, Neil Wagner was optioned to the Minor Leagues.
"For me, every time out is a chance to earn it and show that I can play here, but not so much that I belong."
The 26-year-old will throw out of the bullpen for the time being. He's established himself as a versatile pitcher who can start, pitch multiple innings or come in for short relief. He's assumed each of those roles in the Major Leagues over the past two seasons, making six starts and 23 appearances for Toronto since 2012, compiling a 2-3 record with a 3.58 ERA entering Saturday.
"He's done a tremendous job for us," said manager John Gibbons. "We've called on him for a number of roles and he's excelled in different roles. He's a strike thrower, a ground-ball guy."
The team announced April 4 that they designated reliever Jeremy Jeffress for assignment and recalled Jenkins. But because of league rules that state that Jenkins wasn't eligible for a promotion until 10 games into the regular season, Marcus Walden's contract was purchased instead. Jenkins had a 2.30 ERA in 15 2/3 innings with Triple-A Buffalo in 2014.
He's primarily a sinker ball pitcher, but has been working on a slider since the end of last season, and he's growing more confident with the pitch every time he throws it.
"It's getting better," he said. "I'm not saying it's there every time ... [but] I have no problem going to it."
Jenkins relieved starter Brandon Morrow in the third inning on Saturday and allowed three earned runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings pitched. He also allowed all three inherited runners to score on a grand slam by A.J. Pierzynski -- the first pitcher he faced.
Pitching coach Walker first Blue Jays coach ejected in '14
TORONTO -- Pete Walker became the first Blue Jays coach to get ejected from a game this season when he was tossed Saturday afternoon against the Red Sox.
Walker, the Blue Jays pitching coach, appeared to be upset with home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg after several close pitches from Toronto starter Brandon Morrow were called balls.
Morrow issued a career-high eight walks and lasted only 2 2/3 innings. He was charged with four runs.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.