BOSTON -- The Blue Jays never could have envisioned just how important right-hander Steve Delabar would become to their bullpen following last year's midseason trade with Seattle.
Delabar was acquired for outfielder Eric Thames in a deal prior to the Trade Deadline. At the time, the move was overshadowed by another trade -- as outfielder Travis Snider was sent to Pittsburgh for Brad Lincoln. But it's Delabar who has become the more valuable addition.
The 29-year-old Delabar has been an integral part of Toronto's bullpen ever since, and now finds himself among the league leaders in almost every category for relievers. He's also proven himself to be equally capable facing lefties (.583 OPS) and righties (.675 OPS).
"You want to be the guy who can get anybody out -- not just, 'You're a righties guy or you're a lefties guy,'" Delabar said. "You want to be able to get everybody out so that you're a reliable reliever coming out and [not] get a quick hook and get three guys going in one inning because you have to do matchups. Every guy that we have in the 'pen can get everybody out -- it's just about executing pitches."
Delabar entered play on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 record and 2.14 ERA in 17 games this season. The native of Kentucky leads all American League relievers with 25 strikeouts, while his 21 innings rank fourth.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing is that Delabar has found a way to limit the amount of home runs while he's on the mound. When Delabar was in Seattle, the long ball proved to be his Achilles' heel, as he surrendered nine in 36 2/3 innings.
That hasn't been nearly as problematic in Toronto. He allowed just two after joining the Blue Jays in 2012, and didn't surrender his first this year until a solo shot by Tampa Bay's Yunel Escobar on Thursday.
Overall, it's a stark difference from the way Delabar began last year in Seattle. Prior to the midseason trade, he was sent back and forth between the Majors and Minors on three separate occasions. But now, he finally has a firmly cemented role in the big leagues.
"I'm just down there trying to grind it out with the rest of the guys," Delabar said. "They call our name, we're getting up, getting in there. Last year, it was the same thing -- but it was more I didn't know when I was going to get in.
"This year, it's still about the same -- but you have an idea of when and what might happen. So you kind of just pay attention to what's going on and make sure you're ready."
Jenkins recalled to start Sunday; Davis placed on DL
BOSTON -- Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow has been scratched from Sunday afternoon's start against Boston and will be replaced by Chad Jenkins.
Jenkins was recalled from Double-A New Hampshire on Saturday morning after outfielder Rajai Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.
The move was somewhat expected, after Morrow was listed as questionable for his scheduled outing because of soreness in his upper back and neck. He originally was slated to start Friday night, but had been pushed back a couple of days in an effort to give the injury more time to heal.
"Originally, it was in my normal side session -- and I just felt the tiniest little twinge, like a click," said Morrow, whose symptoms worsened during a recent bullpen. "[I] threw another pitch after that and didn't feel great, so I walked off the mound and went up -- and as I was walking up, the tightness started spreading.
"It was OK at that point. We were optimistic that I would make my start [on Friday], actually, at that point. Later that night, I stretched a little bit -- and that's when my neck locked up, and that's actually been worse than my back throughout this process."
Morrow remained in Florida to undergo further tests while the rest of his teammates traveled to Boston on Thursday night. His MRI came back clean and serious damage has been ruled out, but he is not yet ready to go.
The tentative plan is now for Morrow to start on Wednesday night against the Giants. That will give him an additional four days of rest and should help him avoid a stint on the disabled list.
Jenkins got the call despite having made just one Minor League start this year. He missed the beginning of the season because of a right shoulder injury, but made his return on May 6 and allowed just two runs on three hits in five innings of work.
The native of Tennessee will have his workload closely monitored, as he threw 75 pitches in that outing and has yet to be fully stretched out. Jenkins appeared in 13 games for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings.
"I made three or four starts in extended [spring training] and then I made one start in Double-A, and the manager called me in the office last night and was like, 'Hey, you're going back up,'" Jenkins said. "To be honest, I was pretty surprised."
Davis has been dealing with soreness in his left oblique for the past few days, but further aggravated the injury during a fifth-inning at-bat versus Boston on Friday night.
The Blue Jays are expected to make another roster move prior to Sunday afternoon's game to add another position player. Right-handers Mickey Storey or Ramon Ortiz would be the likely candidates to be either sent down or designated for assignment.