Right-hander Mat Latos wants to make it very clear that he is willing to accept whatever role the Blue Jays have in store for him this season.
Latos was asked on Saturday afternoon whether he would accept an assignment in the Minor Leagues, and he jumped all over the question. The answer is yes, and he'd prefer that everybody just stops asking him about it.
"Whatever I need to do is whatever I need to do," said Latos, who allowed two runs over 3 2/3 innings in a 3-2 loss to the Rays. "Hopefully this message gets out so nobody asks me anymore, but I do what I have to do. If they send me to [Triple-A] Buffalo, they send me to Buffalo. If they have me here for long relief, they have me here for long relief.
"Fifth starter, left-handed specialist, whatever it is they ask me to do is what they're going to ask me to do. I'm going to set a game plan, and I'm going to execute my game plan whether it's in the bullpen, Triple-A, Double-A, [Class] A or I'm stuck down in rookie ball. Whatever I have to do."
Toronto's rotation is set barring any late-spring injuries, but Latos is competing for one of the two jobs up for grabs in the bullpen. The Blue Jays will have to decide whether they are better off having Latos pitch with the big league club in long relief, or in a starting role for Triple-A Buffalo to increase depth.
Latos presumably would rather be on the 25-man roster instead of waiting around for an opportunity but he's not about to start making demands. The 29-year-old joined the Blue Jays on a Minor League deal with a willingness to be used just about anywhere, and that commitment remains the same today.
"I'm just along for the ride," said Latos, who allowed a two-run shot to Jake Bauers in the fourth inning. "I'm in here, meshing with the guys as best as possible and doing the things I need to do, and most importantly, making pitches. I can't control what the front office chooses, I can't control what our manager chooses, I can't control anything other than what I do on a daily basis.
"I get here on time, I go through the routine like everybody else, I take care of the business they want me to take care of, and the way I handle myself on the mound is going to be the one that dictates what goes on."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.