BOSTON – As expected, the Toronto Blue Jays will recall Liam Hendriks from triple-A Buffalo to fill the vacancy in their rotation but in a bit of a surprise the Aussie right-hander will start Friday’s series opener against the Oakland Athletics instead of Saturday.
The reason for that is the Blue Jays wanted to split Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, who gets pushed back a day, and create better balance in their staff, building in potential breaks for a still-busy bullpen.
“They’re our old reliable guys, kind of our innings eaters,” explained Gibbons.
A corresponding roster move to clear a spot for him will be made Friday.
Hendriks, chosen over long man Todd Redmond, steps in the rotation in place of Dustin McGowan, who has looked strong out of the bullpen since his return there, and how long he stays will be up to him.
The 25-year-old has been terrific with the Bisons this season, posting a 5-0 record with a 1.48 earned-run average in nine games, seven starts, at Buffalo, while walking just three batters in 48.2 innings.
But in the big-leagues over parts of the past three seasons with the Minnesota Twins, he’s a career 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 games, 28 of them starts.
Should he falter, the Blue Jays are stretching Marcus Stroman out back at triple-A Buffalo and he should be back around 100 pitches with another start or two.
INJURY UPDATES: Sergio Santos (forearm) is due to resume throwing Friday back in Toronto. There’s no timeline for his return. … Colby Rasmus (hamstring) continues to heal but hasn’t made enough progress for the Blue Jays to begin thinking about a rehab assignment.