Blue Jays 'pen gets well-deserved rest

Blue Jays 'pen gets well-deserved rest

MIAMI -- An off-day combined with seven strong innings from left-hander Ricky Romero has gone a long way in helping restore order to the Blue Jays' bullpen.

Toronto has been carrying an extra reliever in recent weeks following a rash of injuries to the pitching staff, but even possessing an additional arm has done little to ease the level of fatigue.

The Blue Jays closed out their three-game series in Milwaukee on Wednesday with an exhausted bullpen. But a full 24 hours of rest plus an additional day off on Friday night for most of the relievers will go a long way in getting things back to normal.

"Guys that really have been pressed in that last series -- and really the last two series -- they've had a chance to get a little bit of a breather," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Thankfully our offense created some of that room last night to do that, and Ricky's seven innings certainly goes a long way.

"I feel like, for the time being, we're caught back up, and if we need multiple innings, we have [Carlos] Villanueva or [Luis] Perez available."

Toronto was put in an unenviable position last week when the club lost right-handers Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison to the 15-day disabled list. That forced the club to add a couple of relievers with the ability to go multiple innings as a way to ease the burden on the depleted rotation.

Villanueva, Perez, Robert Coello and even David Pauley all have the ability to throw more than one inning when called upon.

"We feel like there are three relievers down there of the current eight-man relief group that can give us multiple innings to bridge the gap to the later-inning guys," Farrell said. "We've got a little bit more unknown in our rotation than maybe one that could say, 'OK, let's go with these four guys where we know what we're going to get from them.'"