Mar 4, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Laffey (32) pitches to the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Laffey called up, Joel Carreno sent down

To make room for lefty Aaron Laffey on the 25-man roster, the Blue Jays optioned Joel Carreno to Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, shortly after the right-hander walked four and gave up four earned runs in his first career major league start.

Initially pegged to return to Double-A New Hampshire’s and be a fixture in their rotation, Carreno will make his Triple-A debut instead, largely due to Brett Cecil occupying his spot in the Fisher Cats’ rotation right now. Although many people feel that Carreno’s future is in the bullpen, I’m glad the Blue Jays are sticking with him as a starter, as I’d like to see him longer as one, but it should help his trade value this summer.

March 2, 2012; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Laffey (32) poses for a portrait during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Citing the need for an extra left-handed reliever, Laffey gets the call to Toronto just in time for their first homestand of the year. The 26-year-old was the Las Vegas 51s’ Opening Day starter on Thursday, where he was shelled for seven earned runs on 11 hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He induced seven groundouts and zero flyouts in that outing, because the three fly balls that were hit off of him all left the park.

“He had a rough outing there but the way he threw the ball in Spring Training, the way he threw against the Red Sox, particularly down in Fort Myers, Fla., one evening, it gives us a third left-hander with a very heavily loaded left-handed hitting lineup in Boston,” Jays manager John Farrell said in an article on the team’s official site.

Even though Laffey will be a fresh addition to a heavily-taxed Toronto bullpen that was forced to pitch 18 innings in their first three games, Farrell will likely stick with Darren Oliver and Luis Perez as his primary left-handed options and resort to Laffey only in an emergency. Left-handers own a career .268 average and .718 OPS against Laffey in 463 career at-bats, though his numbers were lower than his career norms last season (.242 average, .705 OPS). In six career games against the Red Sox, Laffey has allowed 11 earned runs on 16 hits in 10 2/3 innings with two home runs and four walks.

– JM

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Tags: Aaron Laffey Joel Carreno Toronto Blue Jays

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