CHICAGO -- A heavy workload for the bullpen has cost another reliever his spot in the Major Leagues, as lefty Tim Mayza was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo prior to Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs to make room for TJ House.Toronto made the move because it had very little protection
CHICAGO -- A heavy workload for the bullpen has cost another reliever his spot in the Major Leagues, as lefty Tim Mayza was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo prior to Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs to make room for TJ House.
Toronto made the move because it had very little protection in the bullpen for a potential short outing from starter Nick Tepesch on Saturday afternoon. Roberto Osuna, Aaron Loup and Dennis Tepera were among those unavailable to pitch, but in the end, Tepesch pitched just enough with 3 2/3 innings that the Blue Jays did not need to use House.
Mayza made his big league debut earlier this week, and he had three appearances for Toronto. His first two were scoreless, but he did surrender a two-run homer to Javier Baez during Friday's 7-4 loss to the Cubs. Mayza will at least return when rosters expand in September, but it's possible he could be back even before that because House is considered a temporary addition.
"If we get boat-raced early, the only guy with any length at all would have been [Matt] Dermody, and then you end up using up all the other guys again, and you're still swimming upstream," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said while explaining the need for a long man.
Sanchez plays catch
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez played catch on Saturday morning for the first time since he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger. Sanchez has been on the DL four times this season for the same injury that he hasn't been able to shake.
Toronto appears to have given up on having Sanchez start again this season. Instead, Gibbons has been floating the idea of using him out of the bullpen upon his return. More than anything, the Blue Jays just want to see him back on the mound and throwing pain-free before the end of the year to eliminate some of the question marks entering his offseason.
"If it is the bullpen, then I've been there, I've done that," Sanchez told reporters on Saturday morning. "It'll give me some innings on a regular basis more than it would as a starter having to wait every five days. Either way, the main thing is just getting back out there, being healthy and going from there."
Miguel Montero has received a harsh welcome from his former fan base this weekend at Wrigley Field. The veteran catcher got a loud round of boos each time he stepped to the plate during Friday's loss.
Montero played for the Cubs from 2015-17 and was one of their postseason heroes last year en route to a World Series title. He hit a pinch-hit grand slam in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, but this weekend, Montero was being remembered more for the way he left town.
The 34-year-old was designated for assignment shortly after criticizing the amount of time it takes Jacob Arrieta to throw to the plate. Montero had been receiving some heat for not throwing out baserunners, and he pointed at the mound and suggested the problems were not all his. That didn't sit well with the Cubs and eventually led to a trade with the Blue Jays. Friday's game was his first time back since then.
"Obviously, I have a lot of good memories here, and I knew it was going to be a challenge," Montero said of his return. "To be honest, I was nervous early in the game. Not even in my debut in the big leagues -- it was different emotions. At the end of the day, all we're looking to do is win a ballgame, and we didn't do it."
Catcher Mike Ohlman cleared waivers on Saturday afternoon and was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo. Ohlman was designated for assignment earlier this week after Montero was activated from the 10-day DL.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.