Wolfe leaves outing after hearing 'pop'
Hurler pulls self from game with right shoulder pain, set to visit doctor
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brian Wolfe's chances of grabbing one of the Blue Jays' vacant bullpen jobs were dealt an unfortunate blow Tuesday. After surrendering five runs in the fifth inning against the Rays, the right-hander pulled himself from the game due to pain in his throwing shoulder.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston indicated that Wolfe is scheduled to have his shoulder examined by Dr. Steve Mirabello, one of Toronto's team physicians, on Wednesday in Dunedin, Fla. Wolfe first felt tightness in his shoulder while warming up in the bullpen at Charlotte Sports Park, but he didn't believe it to be anything serious.
"I didn't think anything really of it," Wolfe said. "Then I was out there throwing and I heard something pop. Once it popped, then it got a little sore, and that's when I called [pitching coach Brad Arnsberg] out. After a couple pitches, I was like, 'This isn't worth pushing it any more right now.'"
Wolfe, 28, said he heard the pop in his shoulder while facing Rays first baseman Carlos Pena. After Pena reached on an error, Wolfe yielded a grand slam to Tampa Bay's Pat Burrell. Wolfe finished with five runs allowed -- four earned -- on three hits with one walk in one-third of an inning.
As things currently stand, Gaston has named left-handers B.J. Ryan, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet and Jesse Carlson as the only presumed locks for Toronto's bullpen. That leaves three spots up for grabs for Wolfe, Brandon League, Jeremy Accardo, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp and possibly Casey Janssen -- if the team decides against using him as a starter.
"It's open down there," Gaston said, referring to the bullpen competition. "Some guys still have a chance to make it. He [Wolfe] was one of them. He pitched well for this club a couple years ago, and any time you do that, you always have a chance."
Wolfe, who has had elbow, bicep and triceps injuries in the past, posted a 2.45 ERA in 20 games out of the 'pen for Toronto last season. In 2007, Wolfe appeared in 38 games as a rookie for the Jays, going 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA for the club.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.