BOSTON -- Jaime Garcia's days as a starting pitcher for the Blue Jays appear to be over.
Garcia rejoined Toronto on Saturday morning, but he has yet to be activated from the 10-day disabled list. That could happen as soon as Sunday, but whenever the veteran lefty does return it will be as a reliever.
The 32-year-old Garcia has not pitched out of the bullpen since his rookie season in 2008, but his prolonged struggles have resulted in a new role. The Blue Jays are content to continue with their current starting five, and will instead experiment with using Garcia in short stints.
"He'll pitch out of the 'pen," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's all for it. He hasn't thrown a lot since he went on the DL. But really with him, same as a starter, when he throws it over, he's tough."
Gibbons also announced on Saturday morning that the Blue Jays' rotation after the All-Star break will be as follows: Sam Gaviglio, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and rookie Ryan Borucki. That didn't leave a spot for Garcia, who has been on the DL since June 19 with a tender left shoulder.
Garcia joined Toronto at the start of Spring Training on a one-year deal worth $8 million, which also includes a $10 million team option for 2019 that can be bought out for $2 million. The move clearly hasn't worked out with Garcia posting a 6.16 ERA. He managed to complete six innings just three times in 13 starts.
"I'm sure he'll go sinker-slider basically, occasional changeup," Gibbons said of Garcia's approach to the bullpen. "Really, I think he could be a weapon out there. Of course, relievers get away with it a little bit more than the starters, with the wildness, and you can cover him a bit, too, if things go a little haywire."
Rowley gets the call
The Blue Jays selected the contract of right-hander Chris Rowley from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Red Sox. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Rhiner Cruz (groin injury) was moved to the 60-day DL.
Borucki was optioned to the Minors to make room for Rowley on the 25-man roster, but the move was simply procedural. He is expected to throw a couple of side sessions in Dunedin, Fla., but is not scheduled to pitch again until he will be recalled prior to Toronto's fifth game after the break.
Rowley was promoted to add a fresh arm to the bullpen after the Blue Jays received a combined 8 1/3 innings from its starting rotation over Toronto's previous three games. Rowley has a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts for Buffalo this season.
• One fallout from the Blue Jays' post-break rotation news is that right-hander Aaron Sanchez is still not close to returning. Sanchez has been throwing long toss, but it appears he will be out at least another couple of weeks with a contusion on his right middle finger. Sanchez has been out since June 21.
• Right-hander Dennis Tepera will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A New Hampshire on Sunday. Tepera has been out since June 27 with right elbow inflammation, but he is expected to return to Toronto after the All-Star break.