TORONTO -- Injured Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan is heading to Florida after the club's current homestand to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin, general manager J.P. Ricciardi said on Monday.
Ryan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left trapezius soreness on April 23, a day after giving up three runs in the ninth inning against the Rangers for his second blown save in four opportunities this season.
Ryan, who missed much of 2007 and some of '08 after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow, struggled with his velocity and command in Spring Training. In nine innings, he allowed eight hits and eight walks and put up an ERA of 7.00, with his fastball topping out at around 85 mph for much of the spring.
The closer got his fastball back to its usual 86-89 mph range once the regular season began, but his numbers only got worse. Ryan struggled in six appearances this year, posting an 11.12 ERA while allowing eight hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said the plan is for Ryan to pitch two or three times for Dunedin before working his way up through the Jays' farm system and rejoining the big league club.
Ryan, who is scheduled to make $20 million through 2010, threw a bullpen session in Toronto on Monday. Ricciardi noted that the closer has been working with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg for the past week and should be able to pitch for Dunedin shortly after he arrives in Florida this week.
"There's nothing wrong as far as him throwing right now, so he's throwing," Gaston said. "But we want to see him go down and get into some games. ... We want him to be right when he gets back here. It's going to be up to him.
"If we feel that he's capable of throwing strikes and he's not hurting at all, then hopefully he'll get back here and help us."
Ricciardi said there is no set timetable for Ryan's return.
"I think it's going to be as he goes, how he feels," Ricciardi said.
Erika Gilbert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.