Tallet should be able to make next start

Tallet should be able to start

ST. PETERSBURG -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston sounded more optimistic about the status of pitcher Brian Tallet on Sunday afternoon. Toronto is holding out hope that the left-hander's right foot injury will be recovered enough to allow him to make his next scheduled start.

"There's a good chance he might pitch," Gaston said. "If it keeps going like it's gone in the last day or so, there's a chance anyway."

Tallet is penciled in to take the mound against the Orioles on Tuesday in the second tilt of a three-game set against Baltimore in Toronto. The southpaw was struck on the foot by a sharply-hit grounder off the bat of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano during the second inning of the Jays' 5-4 loss on Wednesday.

After throwing a few warm-up tosses prior to the third inning in New York, Tallet ended his outing at 39 pitches. The pitcher said the ball hit him under the arch of his foot and Gaston indicated that Tallet was still sore on Thursday and Friday. Toronto's manager noted that Tallet threw off a mound on Saturday and felt better.

It is still not a given that Tallet will start on Tuesday, though.

If Tallet is still sore when the Jays return home, Gaston said he could have his outing pushed back to Wednesday, when Scott Richmond is scheduled to start. Considering Richmond only threw 63 pitches in a rough two-inning appearance against the Rays on Friday, the right-hander could start on short rest on Tuesday, if necessary.

"We could probably give [Tallet] another day," Gaston said, "and probably even think about the possibility of pitching Richmond. He didn't have that many pitches."

If Tallet needs to be pushed back even further, Gaston said he would likely have to use an assortment of relievers rather than dipping into the club's farm system for another starter. Under that scenario, right-handed reliever Dirk Hayhurst would likely start for the Jays in place of Tallet. Rookie starters Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski are not options after being shut down due to innings limitations.

Left-hander Scott Downs, who tweaked his right hamstring during the eighth inning of Wednesday's loss, is still considered day-to-day, according to Gaston. Without Downs, Toronto's only lefty in the bullpen is Jesse Carlson, who returned from a three-game suspension on Sunday. Gaston said the lack of lefties was not necessarily a reason to keep Downs active.

"We'll see how it goes with him," Gaston said. "If he's not healthy enough to pitch, it doesn't matter."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.