Perez among Blue Jays' second round of cuts

Perez among Blue Jays' second round of cuts

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays made their second round of cuts by sending left-hander Luis Perez and catchers Derrick Chung and Jack Murphy to Minor League camp on Wednesday morning.

The three departures leaves Toronto with 55 players remaining in big league camp. Another round of cuts is expected just before the Minor League side begins playing games on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays have 27 pitchers left in camp, and those numbers will need to dwindle relatively quickly so that everyone can get enough work before the start of the regular season.

"Kind of clean it up a little bit, we have so many guys around," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We really wanted to wait until [the Minor Leaguers] start playing games down there. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the purpose a little bit."

Perez returned last September following a prolonged absence because of Tommy John surgery. He had a minor setback, though, and during the offseason underwent a surgical procedure to have scar tissue removed from his left elbow.

The 29-year-old is expected to begin the season on the disabled list. Once healthy, Perez cannot be sent to the Minor Leagues without first passing through waivers because he's out of options on his contract. The club likely will be patient with him, and a rehab assignment once the regular season begins seems to be the most probable course of action.

"He's moving forward," Gibbons said. "He was just having a problem with the feeling in his pinky finger. He has to get the feeling in that back, but it's progressing. They say the nerves have to regenerate and everything in there, but he's going in the right direction."

Perez has spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues. He owns a career record of 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA over 112 innings.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for 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.