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The Globe and Mail

More roster moves a distinct possibility for limping Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays batter Kelly Johnson watches his double against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto May 28, 2012.


Their bullpen is still in dangerland and their two middle infielders are on the limp.

More moves are a distinct possibility for the Toronto Blue Jays, even after their psyche-soothing 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night snapped a five-game losing skid.

"Potentially," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said after the victory, when asked about the possibility of dipping into the minor leagues for some healthy bodies.

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Farrell said it is something he will have to discuss with general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

"We're still one game away from going through a situation we just suffered in Texas.," Farrell said. "Without saying it's a lack of confidence we also have to protect against a bullpen that's been overworked of late.

"So if we maintain an additional reliever right now for the short term, we may choose to do that. And there may be some flexibility in other ways to get another infielder here."

Currently the Blue Jays are carrying eight relievers and a total of 13 pitchers in all.

And with both shortstop Yunel Escobar – who is suffering from a groin injury but is expected to be back in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Orioles – and second baseman Kelly Johnson on the limp, more moves are anticipated.

Johnson returned to the lineup on Monday after missing two games with a strained left hamstring.

And although he went 3-for-4 at the plate, with a couple of doubles and a home run, it was clear watching Johnson try to gingerly manoeuvre around the base paths that he's not close to 100 per cent.

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"You know one thing we're finding out about Kelly, he's got an extremely high pain threshold," Farrell said. "He's dealing with some discomfort, he's not 100 per cent. But he's able to play to the capability that he is right now. It's something that we monitor every day."

Should Johnson's condition deteriorate the Blue Jays will have to dip once again into the minors, and one option could be the promotion from Triple-A of highly-regarded Cuban infielder Adeiny Hechavarria.

Stalwart Mike McCoy would be another option.

Hechavarria is a shortstop by trade, but he's been getting work over at second base this year.

The 23-year-old is currently hitting .316 at Las Vegas.

"Anyone who's at that level is certainly a candidate for a call-up," Anthopoulos said when asked about the possibility of Hechavarria joining the big league club.

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Although Hechavarria's natural position is shortstop Anthopoulos has no doubt he could handle second in a pinch.

"You can tell he's still going to be above average because he's a great defensive player," Anthopoulos said. "But he hasn't had the reps that he's polished over there but just with his tools and his athleticism and his range he's just going to be a good defender anywhere we put him in the infield."

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