Blue Jays recall Todd Redmond, designate Jeff Francis for assignment


As their season seems to be slipping away, the Toronto Blue Jays are still looking for some consistency from their bullpen. Unfortunately, that bullpen will no longer contain Jeff Francis, as the Blue Jays have designated the left-hander for assignment and recalled Todd Redmond according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Francis was somewhat of a feel-good story for the Blue Jays, when the British Columbia native made four appearances in April, mustering a 3.60 ERA  and striking out 14 over 10 innings of work. It was quite the surprise for the career journeyman, who made the Blue Jays his seventh organization.

However, surprises don’t often last in this league, and Francis was no exception. Once the calendar turned to May, the wheels officially fell off. In just two innings of work this month, the left-hander surrendered five runs on seven hits. The last straw appeared to be the loss on Saturday, when Francis failed to record an out and became the latest member of the bullpen to blow a lead.

The Blue Jays will replace Francis with another familiar face; Todd Redmond. Redmond himself was designated for assignment on April 16th after allowing eight runs in his first 4.1 innings of work. Things haven’t been much better for the right-hander at Triple-A Buffalo either, with Redmond allowing seven runs on 15 hits over 14 innings of work for the Bisons.

One has to wonder if Redmond’s recall is just a temporary move for the Blue Jays. It may be that the 30-year-old is only up for a few days to spell a bullpen that got a lot of use on a seven-game road trip through Baltimore and Houston. Chad Jenkins, who was optioned to Triple-A on May 8th, is eligible to return on May 8th, will be eligible to return to the roster on Tuesday. That said, both Jenkins and Redmond have contributed strong innings out of the Blue Jays bullpen over the last two seasons, and both figure to serve mop-up duty in whatever capacity they join the team. It may make sense to spend out Redmond again before trying to push him through waivers again in order to bring back Jenkins.

Entering play on Monday, the Blue Jays bullpen ranks 19th in Major League Baseball with a 3.91 ERA. They have also blown six of 12 possible save opportunities, with only the Marlins (eight), Rangers (eight), Athletics (eight), Cubs (seven), and Diamondbacks (seven) having blown more saves this season.

Next: Can the Blue Jays stop skid against surging Angels?

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