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Recall of Wagner bolsters Blue Jays' bullpen

Recall of Wagner bolsters Blue Jays' bullpen

Recall of Wagner bolsters Blue Jays' bullpen

ANAHEIM -- The loss of left fielder Melky Cabrera has resulted in the Blue Jays going back to an eight-man bullpen.

When Cabrera was placed on the disabled list following Thursday night's 8-2 loss to the Angels, right-hander Neil Wagner was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to fill the spot on the roster.

Wagner made 20 appearances for the Blue Jays earlier this season and posted a 2-3 record and 3.26 ERA in his 19 1/3 innings. With an overworked relief corps, manager John Gibbons said it was only logical to go with an extra reliever instead of another position player to use off the bench.

"We've needed it for a while," Gibbons said of an eight-man bullpen. "We haven't had it lately, you don't want that, but sometimes you need it."

Toronto's bullpen entered play on Friday night having thrown the most innings (381) in the Major Leagues. Despite the heavy workload, the club's relievers own an impressive 3.17 ERA while striking out 355 and limiting opponents to a .228 batting average.

The timing of an extra arm couldn't have come at a better time. Right-hander Josh Johnson managed to record just seven outs during his start on Thursday night, and the result was even more stress on the bullpen. It will take at least a day or two for things to go back to normal, but Wagner will help ease the transition.

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.

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