TORONTO – Melky Cabrera returned to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday saying his troublesome legs improved vastly during a stint on the disabled list.
The left-fielder hit the DL on June 27 with tendinitis in his knee, inflamed by a collision with the Green Monster at Fenway Park. He’s also struggled with irritation in both his hamstrings and quads this season, problems that have hampered his running and, some think, sapped his pop at the plate.
Cabrera headed into Sunday’s action batting .278/.321/.362 in 78 games.
“This is the best it’s felt in a long time,” Cabrera said in comments interpreted by third base coach Luis Rivera. “I worked hard to be in this shape and I feel good now.”
To make room for Cabrera on the roster right-hander Neil Wagner was optioned to triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays are facing a roster crunch in the coming days as set-up man Sergio Santos is also rehabbing with the Bisons, while left-hander J.A. Happ is due to make his first start for Buffalo on Tuesday against Columbus.
When ready Happ, out since taking a line drive off the head May 7 that also caused a knee sprain, would logically take Todd Redmond's spot in the rotation, but there is no obvious answer for who Santos bumps.
Closer Casey Janssen, all-star set-up men Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar and Darren Oliver aren't going anywhere barring a trade, while Dustin McGowan and Juan Perez are both out of options meaning neither can be sent to the minors without passing through waivers.
Aaron Loup has options left but doesn't deserve a demotion.