TORONTO -- The Blue Jays continued to manage their overworked bullpen on Monday, when they called up left-hander Aaron Laffey from Las Vegas and returned right-hander Chad Beck to the Triple-A club.
"We needed length, and [Laffey is] on the 40-man [roster] right now," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said before Monday's opener against the Orioles. "He was scheduled to pitch [on Tuesday]. He's a guy that could give us four or five innings, assuming the performance is there, if we need him. Hopefully, you don't, and your starter can go deep. But we needed the protection in case something was to happen."
A series of short starts and a couple of extra-inning games on Toronto's six-game road trip have resulted in a series of moves. On Sunday, Beck and right-hander Jesse Chavez were called up from Las Vegas, with catcher-infielder Yan Gomes sent down and right-hander Ryota Igarashi designated for assignment. Igarashi had been called up on Friday and was used in two games.
Chavez, who had been starting at Las Vegas, gave the bullpen a boost by pitching five innings in Sunday's 12-6 loss to the Rangers after right-hander Kyle Drabek was removed after three innings.
"What Chavez did ... Obviously, the game was out of hand, but at that point, being able to save your bullpen [was important]," Anthopoulos said. "At that point you can't continue to burn your relievers."
Anthopoulos said that all the recent moves are short-term.
"For right now we haven't planned for anything beyond short-term," he said. "We hadn't really thought that far ahead when we called up Chavez, called up all these guys. We're just managing in the now and trying to get our bullpen back and give them the right amount of rest.
"Chad Beck was up and he didn't get to throw an inning, but we needed length. It's one of those things. You explain it to the players. It's never easy.
Laffey, 27, has made nine starts for Las Vegas and is 2-5 with a 4.88 ERA. In his last four starts, he has a 2-1 record with a 2.70 ERA. He was with Toronto from April 9-14 but did not appear in a game.
Laffey has a career record of 21-23 with one save and a 4.34 ERA in 126 games (49 starts) over parts of five Major League seasons. Beck, 27, has made 19 appearances with Las Vegas and is 1-0 with seven saves with a 1.31 ERA.