Janssen seeing fewer opportunities

Janssen seeing fewer opportunities

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays' current crop of relievers is the deepest in recent memory, but that overall talent pool is making it tough for some pitchers to find regular work.

Right-hander Casey Janssen was Toronto's primary setup man during the second half of last season, but he entered play on Tuesday having not pitched since April 14. However, Janssen pitched a scoreless eighth inning Tuesday evening, striking out two batters.

A right shoulder injury to Sergio Santos could open the door for Janssen to receive more innings, but compounding matters has been the performance of left-hander Luis Perez.

Perez, who was originally slated for long relief, hasn't allowed an earned run in 11 1/3 innings this season. He also has limited opponents to a .111 average (4-for-36) in seven appearances.

"He has to get back into a game first and foremost," manager John Farrell said of Janssen. "How Luis Perez has evolved, I'm not going to say has supplanted him or replaced other guys, he's done one [heck] of a job for us, Casey's fully ready to go and he will be in the mix."

Janssen has allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings this season. Last year, he went 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA while striking out 53 and walking 14 in 55 2/3 innings.