After tough spring, Lincoln gets chance in the bigs

After tough spring, Lincoln gets chance in the bigs

NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Brad Lincoln from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Thursday night's game against the Yankees.

The move came after it was announced that designated hitter Adam Lind had been placed on the paternity list. Lind is expected to be away until Sunday following the birth of his second child.

Lincoln gives the Blue Jays an eighth man in the bullpen for the four-game series at Yankee Stadium, and his promotion comes on the heels of what had been a frustrating Spring Training.

The 27-year-old was forced to deal with an injury to his right shoulder that cost him any shot of making the big league squad and has since been forced him to bide his time in the Minors while waiting for an opportunity.

"It's part of it," said Lincoln, who allowed four earned runs in eight innings for Buffalo. "You [can't] get upset about it. Don't hold a grudge against anybody or anything, just go down there and do what you need to do to get back to where you want to be, and I feel like I've done that."

It didn't take long for Lincoln to make his season debut. He was called into Thursday night's game against the Yankees during the sixth inning and retired the first two batters he faced, stranding a pair of runners. He then went back out for part of the seventh, and in total gave up one hit and one walk.

When Lincoln went to camp this year, Toronto was contemplating moving him into a starting role. That changed after just one outing, and now he finds himself back in the full-time relief role he had in Pittsburgh prior to the midseason trade last year.

The numbers would indicate that was a wise decision. Lincoln has a 3.38 ERA in 72 innings as a reliever compared with a 5.65 ERA in 116 1/3 innings as a starter. He came up through the Minors with the goal of being in the rotation but has since changed his line of thinking.

"I've come to realize it's not what you want to do, it's what you're good at," he said when asked if he has a preference. "If you look at my track record, starting and then relieving, there is a pretty drastic difference there, numbers-wise. I like coming out the 'pen and being able to go right after guys."

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.