TORONTO -- The Blue Jays finally have some good news on the injury front, as right-hander Brandon Morrow is expected to make his return in a little over a week.
Morrow hasn't pitched in the big leagues since straining his left oblique muscle during a start against the Nationals on June 11. He recently began a rehab assignment and has made three starts in the Minor Leagues, with another outing coming on Monday.
Following that appearance, Morrow likely will rejoin the Blue Jays but will be on a limited pitch count for at least his first couple of starts.
"Very likely," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of a promotion. "We're looking at 65 to 70 pitches his next outing. So the fact we're carrying an extra pitcher right now, we could insert him in the rotation.
"We wouldn't increase the pitch count in his first time back here, so you know you're going to go in with a shortened start to begin with, but with the additional pitcher that we're carrying right now, we can handle that."
Morrow will become the second starter in the rotation that needs to have his pitch count closely monitored. Left-hander J.A. Happ recently made the transition from the bullpen and is not yet to the point of being fully stretched out.
Farrell said once both pitchers are back to full strength, he would consider going with a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season. That would help ease the burden on the staff and provide additional rest for right-hander Carlos Villanueva, who has experienced injury woes in the past.
A final decision on the rotation has yet to be made, but the club definitely won't expand its number of starters to six until Farrell is comfortable going back to a seven-man bullpen.
"Keep [the rotation] at five initially, because that kind of defeats the purpose of bringing [Morrow] back with a shortened pitch count, because you'd be overtaxing the bullpen again," Farrell said.
"Once he and Happ get stretched out to where they can go a minimum of 100 pitches, [I'd consider six], because if you're running a six-man rotation and two guys can only go 85 pitches, you're asking the bullpen to pitch an awful lot."
Carpenter added, then subtracted from Toronto 'pen
TORONTO -- Right-hander David Carpenter became the 32nd different pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season when he made his debut in a 10-4 loss to the Yankees on Friday night.
Unfortunately for Carpenter, his stint in the big leagues didn't last long, as after the game he was optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Utilityman Mike McCoy was recalled in a move that was necessitated when Colby Rasmus re-aggravated a right groin injury in the eighth inning.
Carpenter was caught up in a numbers game, as the club needed to add another position player to the bench in case Rasmus is unable to go Saturday afternoon.
Carpenter was acquired along with left-hander J.A. Happ prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline as part of a 10-player deal with the Astros. The 27-year-old was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, but was always considered a key component of the trade.
"Mainly just fastball-slider, four-seamers and the slider," Carpenter said of his repertoire prior to the game. "Other than that, really haven't tried to branch away from that too much. Especially normally being a one-inning guy, I've always been told that if you've got two pitches, you can compete. Eventually I'm going to try to work on a third pitch, changeup or something of that nature."
It was generally assumed that it would only be a matter of time before Carpenter got the promotion, and that happened prior to Toronto's three-game set against the Yankees.
"I talked with [Blue Jays general manager] Alex [Anthopoulos] a little bit, and he said it was just a matter of going down there right now, getting used to the organization, getting to know some of the personnel and having a few eyes on me, since they hadn't really gotten an opportunity to see me much this year," Carpenter said of his discussions with the organization after the trade was completed.
Carpenter is in his second Major League season after posting a 0-2 record with a 6.07 ERA in 30 relief appearances for the Astros prior to being acquired by the Blue Jays on July 20.
The Morgantown, W.Va., native recorded a 1-3 record with a 2.93 ERA in his rookie season in 2011. In eight games for Las Vegas, the right-hander posted a 0-1 record with a 1.93 ERA, while adding 14 strikeouts in just 9 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays claim righty Abreu off waivers
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Juan Abreu off waivers from the Astros on Friday and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas.
To clear roster space for Abreu, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Scott Richmond for assignment. A Vancouver native, Richmond allowed two runs in three innings for Toronto this season. He went 8-11 with a 5.52 ERA in 27 appearances (24 starts) for the Blue Jays in 2009, when he saw his most Major League action.
Abreu pitched in seven contests for Houston last season, yielding two runs in 6 2/3 innings, while tallying 12 strikeouts. He has spent this season pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he has compiled a 2-3 record and a 7.09 ERA in 38 appearances, while striking out 54 batters in 45 2/3 innings.