Litsch on DL; Tallet in Rotation
The Jays today placed Jesse Litsch on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm/elbow. He underwent an MRI this morning and will not pick up a baseball for two weeks before the injury is re-evaluated. Litsch began feeling pain after striking out Justin Morneau in the first inning on Monday night. He pitched two more innings and two batters into the fourth, unable to go any further after throwing a second strike to Delmon Young.
"I pretty much had pain on every pitch, but I tried to battle through it," Litsch said prior to tonight's game. "It was probably not the right thing to do, but you're going to learn from your mistakes. Hopefully, I get back here with the team sooner rather than later."
Litsch has never had any arm or shoulder problems in his life and did not know how to react properly to the pain. There is no firm prognosis on his return, until the two weeks of total rest are over. But he feels that if he's back able to contribute later this season, he wants to be completely healthy.
"Whatever I have to do to get healthy is what I'm willing to do," Litsch said. "It's a combining of all your pitches. The cutter, I throw that a bunch, that could be the main cause. It could be the sinker or the four-seamer. I felt it on the four-seamer, but after that I felt it on every pitch. Most likely it is the cutter, but it's a strain and I've just got to work through it.
"This is the first time I'll ever miss anything. It's the first time I've ever pulled myself out of a game. It's troublesome, but at the same time, I've got to be smart about it. It's a long career. Hopefully I've got a long career ahead of me. I'm only 24-years-old, so I have to be smart."
His replacement in the rotation will be lefty reliever Brian Tallet, who will go on Saturday vs. the A's at the Rogers Centre. He is expected to throw about 70 pitches.
Recalled from AAA-Las Vegas was lefty reliever Bill Murphy, a 28-year-old selected off of waivers from the Diamondbacks last spring. He was an invitee to spring training. Murphy made one appearance in Vegas, pitching two innings. He will fill Tallet's bullpen role.
"It was a shock," Murphy admitted of his promotion. "It's early and there are a lot of great guys down there in Triple-A. We were in Salt Lake and we were on the way back to the hotel when manager (Mike) Basso gave me a shout and told me to come back to the field."
The logical step might have been to call up either Brad Mills or Brett Cecil and give them a chance to start, but neither one has really earned a recall in his first start. Besides, putting them on the roster now and if they stayed for the year, would give them a full season of service time and could move their free-agency up a year. Instead, they will fill with Tallet for the moment.
"We discussed it last night," assistant GM Tony LaCava said. "There's quite a few left-handed hitters here (with the Twins). Oakland has quite a few left-handers as well. We felt (Murphy) gave us the best option. Tallet (as a starter) gives us the best chance to stay in games and win games.