Notes: Gibbons considers closer options
Accardo and Downs are potential candidates for the role
CLEVELAND -- John Gibbons wouldn't come out and say that Jason Frasor would no longer be the Blue Jays' closer, but Toronto's manager did hint on Wednesday that he's weighing his alternatives.
"I'm not locked into any certain guy for a certain role," Gibbons said. "I don't think you can do that, but you also can't jump ship if something goes bad all the time, either."
Frasor has had an inconsistent run as Toronto's temporary closer since taking over for B.J. Ryan, who is out until at least mid-June with a strained ligament in his left elbow. Ryan landed on the disabled list on April 15, and Frasor has seen his ERA rise from 1.23 to 6.00 during the time he's spent filling in for the All-Star.
Frasor's statistics have been skewed by his last two trips to the mound, in which he's yielded six runs on three hits with five walks in 1 2/3 innings. The right-hander gave up three runs on Tuesday, when he entered as Toronto was trailing Cleveland in a non-save situation. On Saturday, Frasor blew a save against Texas after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
"That ninth inning is tough," Gibbons said. "That's why guys get paid a lot of money for that job. Very few guys can do it and dominate it like B.J. did. History shows that when you're beat up down there, it's no easy road."
Gibbons named Jeremy Accardo and Scott Downs as potential candidates to help shore up the ninth-inning role. Neither reliever has allowed a run this season for the Blue Jays, who have blown six saves as a team thus far.
In 10 games this season, Accardo has given up five hits with 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 shutout innings. Entering Wednesday, left-handed hitters had combined to go 0-for-18 against the right-hander, who was acquired in the deal that sent Shea Hillenbrand to the Giants last July.
"I'm sure he'll get his chance," said Gibbons, when asked if Accardo might receive some save chances. "He's been very good. He hasn't been scored on. He came out and had a good spring and he's worked his way in there and is piching good."
Downs, who has mainly been used as a situational reliever this season, hasn't allowed a run in 12 appearances for Toronto. The left-hander has given up just four hits and has 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
High-powered: Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill continues to turn heads with his hot start this season. On Tuesday, he sent a 3-1 pitch from Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia deep to left field for a solo home run. The blast was Hill's sixth of the year, matching a career high, and it came in Toronto's 26th game. Last year, Hill didn't hit his sixth homer until game No. 158.
"He's a strong, compact kid. He's got that in him," Gibbons said. "I don't think he'll be known as a home run hitter, but he'll be one of those guys who's a good, productive guy -- a clutch hitter. He'll hit his share and he'll be one of the better second basemen in baseball."
No worries: Since taking over for injured left fielder Reed Johnson, rookie Adam Lind has struck out 16 times in 16 games. Gibbons didn't sound too worried about Lind, who has been a productive hitter at every professional level so far.
"That hasn't concerned me at all," Gibbons said. "When he gets in trouble, he chases that high fastball. There's times, too, when he catches up with it and does some damage, though. The more he plays, he'll learn how they're pitching him."
Honored: Toronto ace Roy Halladay was named the American League's Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday. In six April starts, Halladay went 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 33 strikeouts in a league-best 47 1/3 innings. Halladay, who has won the monthly honor three times in his career, edged out Boston's Josh Becket (5-0, 2.48) and Tampa Bay's Al Reyes (1.50 and nine saves) for the award.
Under the weather: Catcher Jason Phillips was a late scratch from Wednesday night's game against the Indians. Sal Fasano started in place of Phillips, who wasn't feeling well prior to the contest.
Did you know? On Tuesday, Troy Glaus and Hill hit back-to-back home runs for the Blue Jays. Since the beginning of last season, Toronto has managed consecutive homers on 11 occasions, including eight in which Glaus had one of the blasts.
Quotable: "If you look at it as a whole, they've all been pitching good. We've had some tough losses, but they've all done good jobs in roles they weren't expected to do." --Gibbons, on Toronto's bullpen
Coming up: Toronto right-hander Dustin McGowan is scheduled to take the mound when the Blue Jays face the Indians in the finale of a three-game set at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at Jacobs Field. Cleveland will counter with lefty Cliff Lee.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.