ST. PETERSBURG -- When Chad Jenkins made his Major League debut on Tuesday night, he set a club record by becoming the 31st pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season.
Toronto's previous high was 30, but that number has already been surpassed with almost two months still remaining in the season.
One of the main reasons behind the record number has been the multitude of injuries the team has encountered this year, but it's not the only factor at play.
"In certain cases, there are deadlines and contracts that you've got to take a look at a guy before he has the ability to request an out," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "I'm sure in some of those, those existed. We've had a lot of turnover because you bring a guy up in the short-term, he gets used, and all of a sudden you're in an extended game, or a game where the bullpen has been used extensively, and then you've got to get another fresh arm in that situation."
There are multiple reasons for the high turnover rate this season, but all of them point back to the uncertainty of the roster due to injuries. The Blue Jays have been forced to put 10 pitchers on the disabled list this year and all but two of those have resulted in season-ending surgeries.
Toronto entered play Wednesday with the third-worst team ERA (4.50) in the Major Leagues. The Blue Jays also have given up the second-most home runs (138) and walks (388), while ranking tenth in WHIP (1.37).
Lawrie resumes baseball activities
ST. PETERSBURG -- Brett Lawrie resumed baseball activities on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his rib cage, but is still not ready for a return to the lineup.
Lawrie injured his rib cage and oblique area while swinging the bat during a game against Oakland on Friday. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday night, which revealed some inflammation in the area, but a significant injury has been ruled out.
The 22-year-old Lawrie took part in Toronto's pregame stretch on Wednesday and resumed throwing, but has yet to take batting practice and is unlikely to return before the Blue Jays head back to Toronto on Friday.
"I feel a lot better than I did before," Lawrie said. "I think throwing today is kind of giving me a little light at the end of the tunnel, knowing this thing is getting better as opposed to where it was. I'm just going out there, moving around, throwing and kind of letting it fly a little bit, actually felt pretty good."
The Blue Jays will continue to monitor Lawrie's progress and have not ruled out a possible stint on the 15-day disabled list if things do not improve as expected. A big test will come on Thursday morning when Lawrie sees how he feels one day after throwing and another hurdle will occur when the native of Langley, British Columbia, picks up a bat for the first time.
For now, Lawrie continues to receive various forms of treatment in the clubhouse in an effort to speed up the healing process. There isn't much else that can be done besides rest and a timetable for his return is still very much unknown.
"I think over the next two days, we'll have a better read on that," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of a possible DL stint.
"We have to be careful. If there's a further injury, we're looking at more of a prolonged shutdown. We'll take this step by step and make a best determination we can with his health being No. 1."
Lawrie is batting .282 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 100 games this season. He also has 32 extra-base hits and a .742 OPS while walking 22 times in 397 at-bats.
Bautista's second wrist MRI shows improvement
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Bautista is expected to resume swinging the bat on Monday after his latest MRI confirmed the original diagnosis of mild inflammation in his left wrist.
Bautista underwent another round of tests on Wednesday after the pain in his wrist didn't subside. He visited a hand specialist in the Tampa area and while some additional rest was recommended, the worst-case scenarios appear to have been ruled out.
"It didn't seem to get worse, it wasn't getting a whole lot better, it somewhat plateaued," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said after his club's 3-2 loss to Tampa on Wednesday night.
"In this case, it kind of reveals what we had anticipated all along. He was just feeling some discomfort in that one same spot, but hopefully with some time down, some additional time, he'll get back into the swing of things. Looking forward to making progress towards an eventual activation."
Bautista hasn't played since suffering the injury during a swing on July 16 in New York. Farrell admitted for the first time on Wednesday that surgery had initially been brought up as a possibility when the incident happened, but so far rest continues to be the recommended course of action.
There was a chance that could have changed following the results of Bautista's latest MRI. A major concern was that swelling affected the test results in New York and that's why a follow-up MRI was scheduled for this week in Tampa Bay.
"The MRI that was taken today shows some improvement," Farrell said. "There's still a little bit of inflammation in that one small spot and as a result, he'll resume hitting drills off the tee, dry swings, on Monday.
"But it was advised by the hand specialist that he gives this another week, which will put him right at the four-week mark once he resumes on Monday. At that point, it still proceeds with his tolerance to any kind of discomfort. This will be a cautious approach and we'll monitor it daily."
Bautista is hitting .244 with 27 home runs and 65 RBIs in 90 games this season. He also has an .894 OPS and 41 extra-base hits in what has been another successful year in the middle of Toronto's batting order.