THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TORONTO — The Blue Jays promoted left-hander Brett Cecil and right-handers Robert Ray and Brian Wolfe from triple-A Las Vegas on Friday.
Left-hander David Purcey and right-handers Brian Burres and Bryan Bullington were optioned to triple-A.
Ray, who pitched in one game at class A and one game at triple-A this season, will make his major league debut Saturday, starting against Baltimore in place of Purcey.
Cecil, 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four starts at triple-A, will also join Toronto’s rotation and is scheduled to make his major league debut Tuesday against Cleveland.
Wolfe, who spent parts of the past two seasons with Toronto, was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in nine appearances at triple-A.
General manager J.P. Ricciardi acknowledged that Ray, 25, and Cecil, 22, were rushed to the major leagues because of injuries and ineffectiveness in Toronto’s rotation.
"They shouldn’t be here right now," Ricciardi said. "We’re kind of forcing them."
The Blue Jays only plan to use Cecil and Ray until right-hander Casey Janssen and rookie left-hander Ricky Romero return, likely within the next two or three weeks.
Romero, who is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA, is out with a strained muscle in his right side. He will throw a bullpen session Saturday and could begin a minor league rehab assignment in Florida next week.
Janssen missed the 2008 season after shoulder surgery but was activated off the disabled list Thursday after beginning a rehab stint with Class A Dunedin. Janssen had been at extended spring training in Florida. He started his rehab Monday.
Purcey was sent down after going 0-2 with a 7.01 ERA in five April starts. He allowed six runs and eight hits, including three homers, in a 7-1 loss at Kansas City on Monday.
Manager Cito Gaston said Purcey, who walked 18 in 25 2-3 innings, needs to work on his control.
"He needs to go out and be able to command his fastball a little bit better, get his curveball over and his change-up. When he can do that, he’s going to be a good pitcher in this league."
Burres went 0-2 with a 14.21 ERA in two starts after being called up April 24 to replace Romero.
Bullington went 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five games for Toronto after he was called up April 24 to replace closer B.J. Ryan, who has muscle tightness in his back and shoulder.
Ricciardi said Ryan is expected to resume throwing when he goes to Florida next week to began a rehab assignment.
Along with Ryan, Romero and Janssen, three other Toronto pitchers are out with injuries, all starters. Jesse Litsch (forearm) went down after two starts and won’t be back until June, Dustin McGowan (shoulder) could miss the season after surgery and Shaun Marcum (elbow) isn’t expected back until August after ligament replacement surgery.