Notes: Burnett to skip next start
Right-hander undergoes additional MRI exam Wednesday
SAN FRANCISCO -- Toronto manager John Gibbons insists he isn't too worried about A.J. Burnett's latest injury, but the Blue Jays still plan on being cautious with the pitcher. On Wednesday, Gibbons said Burnett would skip his next scheduled start and he was optimistic a trip to the disabled list wasn't necessary.
"He's fine," said Gibbons, following Toronto's 7-4 win over San Francisco at AT&T Park on Wednesday. "He'll miss one start. He doesn't need to go on the DL, we don't think."
On Tuesday night, Burnett exited his outing against the Giants in the fifth inning after feeling pain in his right shoulder. The initial test performed by the Jays' medical staff revealed a mild strain, but the 30-year-old right-hander underwent an additional MRI exam at a hospital in San Francisco.
The second test confirmed Toronto's evaluation of the injury. Given the early indications Tuesday, Burnett sounded as hopeful as Gibbons that he'd be able to avoid his ninth career trip to the disabled list.
"I've thrown a lot here recently, so maybe I'm a little tired," Burnett said after Tuesday's outing. "I may need another day off -- miss a start or something. We don't know. All the tests were negative, so we're just going to get it checked out to make sure. I'm not too worried about it."
Burnett left the game after throwing 82 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He said the shoulder issue might simply be a case of fatigue, considering he threw 372 pitches over his previous three trips to the mound. For the season, Burnett is 5-6 with a 4.00 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 90 innings over 14 starts.
Originally, Burnett was scheduled to start next Sunday, when Toronto hosts Washington in the finale of a three-game Interleague series. Gibbons said that right-hander Josh Towers, who recently moved back into the rotation after a stint as a reliever, will replace Burnett for the outing against the Nationals.
So long, Sal: In order to add an extra arm to their bullpen, the Blue Jays decided to put an end to the four-catcher experiment. On Wednesday, Toronto announced that it had designated veteran Sal Fasano for assignment, giving the club 10 days to either trade, release or reassign the catcher.
Designating Fasano cleared a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Lee Gronkiewicz, who had his contract purchased from Double-A New Hampshire. In 23 games at Double-A, the 28-year-old Gronkiewicz was 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Fasano signed a one-year contract with Toronto in January, knowing he'd probably have to spend some time in the Minors. The 35-year-old joined the Jays in late April, when catcher Gregg Zaun landed on the DL with a broken hand.
With Zaun now back on the roster, and catchers Jason Phillips and Curtis Thigpen also in the mix, Fasano became the odd man out. In 16 games with Toronto, Fasano hit .178 with one home run and four RBIs.
Wells sits: Gibbons opted to give slumping center fielder Vernon Wells the day off Wednesday against San Francisco. Alex Rios, who is Toronto's regular right fielder, moved to center and Matt Stairs started in right. Howie Clark started at first and hit in the leadoff spot.
Wells last homered on May 20 against the Phillies, and has hit just .188 with nine RBIs in 21 games since that blast. Last season, Wells belted 32 homers for the Jays, but he currently ranks eighth on the team with five long balls. He's also posted a .247 average with 30 RBIs through 61 games for Toronto.
Rehabbing: On Tuesday, right-hander Brandon League (shoulder issue) made his fifth rehab appearance for Double-A New Hampshire. The reliever, who could potentially rejoin the Jays' bullpen by the end of the month, gave up one run with two strikeouts and one walk in one inning.
All-Stars: The Lansing Lugnuts, Toronto's low Class A affiliate, had five players named to the 2007 Midwest League All-Star team. Outfielder Travis Snider, who was the Jays' first selection in the '06 First-Year Player Draft, was named a starter. Catcher Matt Liuzza, infielder Sean Shoffit and pitchers Adrian Martin and Paul Phillips also made the squad.
Did you know? Toronto has played in an American League-high 25 one-run games. The Jays are 13-12 in those contests (9-3 at home and 4-9 on the road). Last year, Toronto was 20-10 in one-run games.
Coming up: After an off-day on Thursday, Toronto ace Roy Halladay (6-2, 4.56 ERA) is slated to take the mound against Washington at 7:07 p.m. ET on Friday at Rogers Centre. The Nationals will counter with left-hander Mike Bacsik (1-3, 4.34 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.