Losers of 10 of their past 14 games, including a 14-1 rout Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays made some changes to their roster that included calling up top pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez.
Sanchez and right-handed pitcher Esmil Rogers had their contracts selected from triple A-Buffalo and shortstop Ryan Goins was recalled from the Bisons. To make room, left-handed reliever Brad Mills was designated for assignment and catcher Erik Kratz and outfielder Darin Mastroianni were optioned to the minors.
"You hope [to get a spark]," manager John Gibbons said. "That wasn't the purpose of it, but we could use a little bit of that, so we'll see. It'd bring a lot more excitement if we could get results on the field."
The 22-year-old Sanchez's addition is the most intriguing, even as Gibbons said he'll be used exclusively out of the bullpen. Sanchez was a first round pick of the Blue Jays in 2010 and is considered one of the top 50 prospects in baseball.
"He's got an overpowering, live fastball," Gibbons said. "He gets a lot of ground balls. He's got a nice curveball. When he's on, he's a tough at-bat."
Sanchez is a starter, but with 100 minor league innings under his belt already this season, the Blue Jays want to limit him to about 130.
"We plan on using him," Gibbons said. "We're not going to baby him but we'll keep an eye on him."
Sanchez said his first call upon learning he was going to the majors was made wearing just a towel in the visiting clubhouse Monday night in Allentown, Pa., where the Bisons were playing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Bristow, Calif., native then rode up to Toronto on Tuesday.
"This has been an unbelievable 24 hours for me," he said.
It has been a forgettable 24 hours for the Blue Jays after getting smacked by the Boston Red Sox in the series opener at Rogers Centre. Mills, who gave up eight earned runs — including two home runs to David Ortiz — was the first victim and got designated for assignment because Toronto needed someone who could eat up innings Tuesday and beyond.
That'll be Rogers's job for now.
"After last night, if something happens early in this game or it went extra innings we had no length out of anybody out there," Gibbons said. "[Rogers had] been pitching much better down there, too."
Goins will "play a lot" at second base, according to Gibbons, who wouldn't go so far as to say he was the de facto starter there. With Brett Lawrie still injured, Munenori Kawasaki could see more time at third base, with Juan Fransisco shifting to first.
Kratz was sent down, Gibbons said, because the Blue Jays don't need a right-handed-hitting catcher this week. They still have switch-hitting Dioner Navarro and lefty Josh Thole on the roster.