MINNEAPOLIS — The Blue Jays’ bullpen got some welcome reinforcements Thursday, when Ryan Tepera was officially activated from the injured list after elbow inflammation sidelined him for the first few weeks of the season.
To make room on the active roster, the team designated right-hander Javy Guerra for assignment one day after he pitched two innings of shutout relief.
The Blue Jays could have activated Tepera earlier in the week, but he pitched twice at triple-A Buffalo over the weekend and the club wanted to be sure he was fully rested before activating him.
When Tepera’s injury first arose late in spring training, there was concern that he could be sidelined long-term, but a cortisone shot helped diminish his elbow soreness and he’s now feeling better on days after he pitches.
"Deep down I never really thought it was anything serious," he said earlier this week. "I knew it was something on the back of the elbow instead of on the inside of the elbow, but that being said I tried to stay positive and work through it. Fortunately I lucked out and everything’s good now."
Guerra made the Blue Jays out of spring training after signing a minor-league deal. The 33-year-old appeared in nine games for the Blue Jays, allowing six earned runs over 10 innings while striking out 12 and walking four.
By designating him for assignment, they also create a spot on their previously-full 40-man roster, That’s significant since they’ll need a spot for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. when he arrives in the majors, likely later this month.
Charlie Montoyo’s late-inning options now include Tepera, Ken Giles, Joe Biagini, Daniel Hudson and Tim Mayza. If the Blue Jays need length, they can turn to Thomas Pannone, Sam Gaviglio or Rule 5 pick Elvis Luciano.