Rogers confident going into first start since '11

Rogers confident going into first start since '11

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' starting rotation continues to be in a state of flux, and right-hander Esmil Rogers will become the latest to enter the fold when he takes the mound on Wednesday night in Atlanta.

The season hasn't even reached its two-month mark, but when Rogers gets the call, he'll become the 10th starter used by Toronto this year. That's not how this season was expected to go, but it became a reality after injuries to Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ were accompanied by the prolonged struggles of left-hander Ricky Romero.

The club's decision to move Rogers from the bullpen into the rotation caught some people off guard, including the 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic.

"I wasn't looking for the opportunity, but they gave it to me. I'll take it, and I'll try to do my best," Rogers said.

"They surprised me a little bit, but I know after getting the opportunity the last couple of games to throw three innings, I think they saw I can start, and they gave me the opportunity to start now."

Rogers came up through the Minor Leagues as a starter, but hasn't taken on that role in the big leagues since 2011. He's made 22 career starts at that level and is just 6-6 with a 6.24 ERA while striking out 85 in 114 innings.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Rogers' spot in the rotation isn't expected to be a long-term solution, but the club is searching for temporary fill-ins until Johnson returns from a right triceps injury.

The decision to go with Rogers came after rookie left-hander Sean Nolin was unable to pitch his way out of the second inning when he started on Friday. Rogers has thrown three innings in each of his past two relief appearances, and he should be stretched out enough to possibly throw five on Wednesday.

Rogers threw a bullpen session on Sunday in preparation for his first start, and he made a few changes which will hopefully make his transition a little bit easier.

"As a reliever, I just used three pitches, but as a starter, I'll have to use my changeup," said Rogers, who has a 4.56 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. "The last couple of days, I tried to use my changeup a little bit more and throw from my windup.

"Everything is good. My confidence is there, so we'll see how it goes in the game."

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