Blue Jays recall Tepera, option Venditte to triple-A

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ryan Tepera (Frank Gunn/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to search for answers in a bullpen that has struggled of late, promoting right-hander Ryan Tepera to take the place of the ambidextrous Pat Venditte Wednesday.

Tepera’s most recent outing at triple-A was his worst of the season, with five runs and six hits allowed in 1.1 innings. That said, the 28-year-old had a 2.45 ERA with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings before Sunday’s struggles. He pitched in 32 games for the 2015 Blue Jays, posting a 3.27 ERA with 22 strikeouts and six walks allowed in 33 innings.

Meanwhile, Venditte recently pitched in back-to-back games and would likely have been unavailable for Wednesday’s series finale against the White Sox. The 30-year-old heads to triple-A Buffalo with a 7.36 ERA and two strikeouts in five appearances with the Blue Jays.

The move means Brett Cecil‘s now the lone left-hander in the Blue Jays’ bullpen, though Tepera’s reverse splits make him a candidate to face lefties in the middle innings. The Blue Jays’ left-handed relief depth has been stretched thin with Aaron Loup and Franklin Morales on the disabled list.

Since Tepera and Venditte both have options, it’s relatively simple for the Blue Jays to shuttle them back and forth between triple-A and the big leagues. Both were already on the 40-man roster, meaning the club didn’t have to create additional space for Tepera.

While the Blue Jays’ bullpen has a presentable 4.03 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 58 innings, Toronto’s relievers rank last in MLB with 18 of 36 inherited runners scored. The Blue Jays have a day off Thursday after a run of 16 games in as many days.

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