Blue Jays designate Reyes, recall Ledezma

Blue Jays designate Reyes, recall Ledezma

Blue Jays designate Reyes, recall Ledezma
ARLINGTON -- Jo-Jo Reyes' tenure in a Blue Jays uniform likely came to an end on Saturday afternoon when he was designated for assignment by the club.

Toronto now has 10 days to either trade, release or place the 26-year-old on waivers. The Blue Jays selected the contract of left-hander Wil Ledezma to at least temporarily replace Reyes on the 25-man active roster.

"Jo-Jo did a good job for us," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He pitched a number of innings, given the circumstances coming out of Spring Training, and we knew that he had to make our club or be exposed to the waiver wire.

"The injuries out of Spring Training -- I thought he did a good job of filling in and giving everything that he had."

Reyes got off to a rough start at the beginning of the year. He went 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA in his first seven starts.

The native of California then added a cut fastball to his arsenal of pitches and appeared to turn a corner. Reyes proceeded to go 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA over a span of seven starts.

Things then took another step in the wrong direction in the middle of June, as Reyes began to struggle more than he had at any point in the season. He went 2-3 with an 8.60 ERA while posting a 1.91 WHIP over his final six starts.

Farrell believes most of those struggles go back to Reyes not being able to effectively locate his pitches.

"The cutter was a pitch that he added that not only enabled him to put the ball on the ground, but we saw his pitch counts begin to drop and become more efficient," Farrell said. "Over the last six starts, it became more about command inside the strike zone and the consistency of it.

"[It] really kind of highlighted over the last couple of starts, whether it was the lineups he was facing or whether it was the inconsistent location within the zone. That's where some of the innings that started to unfold on him became a little bit more difficult to shut off."

Reyes went 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 20 starts this season. He posted a 1.59 WHIP, which is tied for worst in the Majors, and surrendered the fifth-most hits in the American League with 140.

The fifth-year player likely will be remembered most for tying the Major League record with a streak of 28 consecutive starts without recording a victory.

That skid began after a start on June 13, 2008, versus the Angels when he was still playing for the Braves. It didn't end until Reyes picked up a win on May 30, 2011, against the Indians.

Through it all, Farrell said he thought Reyes handled that situation incredibly well, just like he dealt with the news of Saturday's DFA.

"The well-publicized stretch that he went through never deterred him from his work and he handled today's decision as a pro," Farrell said.

"He understood the reasons behind it, wished he could have performed a little bit better to continue on. But we felt like, at that point in time, going forward we had to make a decision to make a change."

Reyes is 10-23 with a 6.04 ERA in 61 career appearances in the Major Leagues. He was acquired from the Braves last season alongside shortstop Yunel Escobar for shortstop Alex Gonzalez and a pair of prospects.

His departure leaves a void in Toronto's starting rotation. With an off-day on Monday, the club can opt to have a new pitcher make the start on either Thursday or Saturday.

Farrell said there are three Minor League candidates -- Jesse Litsch, Zach Stewart and Brad Mills -- for the job, but no official decision has been made.

Ledezma will provide Farrell with another option in the bullpen until the club needs to promote a starter. Ledezma's role likely would have been given to left-hander Luis Perez, but since he was recently optioned to the Minors he can't be recalled until July 29 as per league rules.

"He has the ability to go multiple innings, as he has with Las Vegas at various points in the season," Farrell said of Ledezma. "So, whether or not we look to matchup, we'd certainly look to do that with [Marc Rzepczynski] first.

"But given this [Rangers] lineup that we're facing, we feel like the added arm in the bullpen is the right addition to make at this point."

The 30-year-old Ledezma went 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 34 appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas. He struck out 63 while walking 18 in 46 2/3 innings this season.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.