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Litsch opts for free agency after coming off DL

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays reinstated pitcher Jesse Litsch from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday and instead of accepting an outright assignment to the Minor Leagues, the right-hander opted for free agency.

Litsch, who hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since September 2011, spent the entire season on the DL, rehabbing from a pair of surgeries on his throwing arm.

The 27-year-old first underwent emergency arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder in March after receiving an infection following a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection performed by Dr. James Andrews to treat inflammation. Litsch then underwent season-ending surgery on his biceps in June.

Litsch, who has battled numerous injuries over his five-year career, primarily threw out of the bullpen in 2011 after starting in parts of four seasons with the Blue Jays from 2007-10.

The Florida native underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 that limited him to two games, and season-ending hip surgery in August 2010 after making just nine starts.

In 88 career games with Toronto, 67 of which were starts, Litsch went 27-27 with a 4.16 ERA.

Because Litsch was on the 60-day DL, his departure did not create an opening on the 40-man roster. The Blue Jays currently have 37 players on the 40-man roster after they outrighted pitchers Aaron Laffey, Bobby Korecky and Shawn Hill on Oct. 4.

More openings will be created once players file for free agency and infielder Omar Vizquel officially enters retirement.

Toronto Blue Jays, Jesse Litsch