TORONTO -- The Blue Jays welcomed back a pair of fresh arms on Monday afternoon, with the return of Jason Frasor and Brett Cecil.
Cecil made his return one day earlier than expected, in part because of a pressing need in Toronto's bullpen. On Sunday, long relievers Chad Jenkins and Aaron Laffey both threw multiple innings in a 9-4 loss to Tampa Bay, which prompted the promotion of Cecil.
The 26-year-old went 4-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Las Vegas. He has spent parts of four seasons in the big leagues, with all but one of his 75 appearances coming as a starter.
Cecil will now transition to the bullpen, where he is expected to be used as a lefty specialist and multiple-inning reliever. Despite the lack of relief experience at the big league level, Cecil was a closer in college and is familiar with the new role.
He also has limited lefties to a .230 average and .654 OPS, which could bode well for a spot in the bullpen.
"His splits have always been good," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said this weekend, when asked to explain the new role. "We will never rule out him being able to start again, but right now some other guys have gone ahead of him from the starting rotation standpoint."
Frasor was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, but did not re-join his teammates until Monday. He had been out since July 17 with right forearm tightness, but a period of extended rest meant any type of serious injury was avoided.
The 35-year-old Frasor is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 42 appearances this season. He'll be looking for a strong finish to the year, as the pending free agent is set to hit the open market during the offseason.
Arencibia getting closer to making return
TORONTO -- Injured catcher J.P. Arencibia is potentially less than one week away from returning to the Major Leagues.
Arencibia, who hasn't played since fracturing his right hand on July 26, made his first rehab appearance for Class A Dunedin on Sunday. He went 1-for-5 with a double and a walk in six plate appearances at designated hitter.
The 26-year-old will continue his rehab in Florida and could return to the Blue Jays on Friday in Boston, or at the conclusion of that upcoming three-game series.
"Talked to him before [batting practice] yesterday, after BP and then after the game, he felt good physically," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters on Monday morning.
"Today's the last day of the regular season, there's typically a day off before playoffs begin. I don't have their playoff schedule, but he could return to us Friday in Boston or it could be when we return from Boston. Both of those are realistic time-frames."
Arencibia is hitting .242 with 16 homers and 50 RBIs in 81 games this season. He has yet to appear behind the plate in the Minors and likely will need at least a couple of starts at catcher before getting the green light to return.
"I was just reviewing his progression, he will catch while in Dunedin in the next day or two," Farrell said. "Most importantly, we're trying to get his timing back at the plate first. He's been catching bullpens. He's been receiving volume work off the pitching machine. Just trying to get his legs back in game shape as quick as possible."
Veterans Jeff Mathis and Yorvit Torrealba have been filling in during Arencibia's absence. It's possible that a fourth catcher -- utilityman Yan Gomes -- also will be added to the Blue Jays' roster when Triple-A Las Vegas' season comes to an end on Monday.