TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' starting rotation continues to be in a state of flux, and right-hander Esmil Rogers will become the latest to enter the fold when he takes the mound on Wednesday night in Atlanta.
The season hasn't even reached its two-month mark, but when Rogers gets the call, he'll become the 10th starter used by Toronto this year. That's not how this season was expected to go, but it became a reality after injuries to Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ were accompanied by the prolonged struggles of left-hander Ricky Romero.
The club's decision to move Rogers from the bullpen into the rotation caught some people off guard, including the 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic.
"I wasn't looking for the opportunity, but they gave it to me. I'll take it, and I'll try to do my best," Rogers said.
"They surprised me a little bit, but I know after getting the opportunity the last couple of games to throw three innings, I think they saw I can start, and they gave me the opportunity to start now."
Rogers came up through the Minor Leagues as a starter, but hasn't taken on that role in the big leagues since 2011. He's made 22 career starts at that level and is just 6-6 with a 6.24 ERA while striking out 85 in 114 innings.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Rogers' spot in the rotation isn't expected to be a long-term solution, but the club is searching for temporary fill-ins until Johnson returns from a right triceps injury.
The decision to go with Rogers came after rookie left-hander Sean Nolin was unable to pitch his way out of the second inning when he started on Friday. Rogers has thrown three innings in each of his past two relief appearances, and he should be stretched out enough to possibly throw five on Wednesday.
Rogers threw a bullpen session on Sunday in preparation for his first start, and he made a few changes which will hopefully make his transition a little bit easier.
"As a reliever, I just used three pitches, but as a starter, I'll have to use my changeup," said Rogers, who has a 4.56 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. "The last couple of days, I tried to use my changeup a little bit more and throw from my windup.
"Everything is good. My confidence is there, so we'll see how it goes in the game."
Blue Jays designate Ortiz, option Weber
TORONTO -- After Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Braves, the Blue Jays made a couple of roster moves.
Ramon Ortiz, 40, was designated for assignment and reliever Thad Weber was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
In conjunction with third baseman Brett Lawrie being placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left ankle sprain, the Blue Jays recalled right-hander Todd Redmond from Buffalo and selected the contracts of right-hander Neil Wagner and left-hander Juan Perez from the same club.
Ortiz, who threw three innings of relief on Tuesday, was 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA in six appearances -- including three starts -- with the Blue Jays
The right-handed Weber pitched in his third straight game Tuesday, surrendering the game-winning solo home run to Braves designated hitter Brian McCann. In three innings with Toronto, he allowed just that one earned run and struck out two.
Redmond, 28, has made two appearances this season for Buffalo, including one start, posting a 1-0 record with a 9.53 ERA. He began the season on the Minor League disabled list with right shoulder impingement. He is 72-61 record and a 3.60 ERA in 209 games over nine Minor League seasons. He was claimed on waivers from Baltimore on March 22.
Perez, 34, posted a 0.86 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Buffalo. He has appeared in 42 Major League games, going 1-2 with an ERA of 4.88 in four seasons for the Pirates, Phillies and Brewers.
Wagner, 29, has appeared in 19 games for the Bisons, recording 13 saves and 0.89 ERA while allowing just 10 hits and striking out 32 in 20 1/3 innings. He has appeared in six Major League games, all in relief for the A's. in 2011.
"We're going to need probably a couple of pitchers with [Esmil] Rogers going tomorrow in a spot start," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We really don't know what's going to happen there."
Lawrie still day to day; DL decision likely soon
TORONTO -- Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was forced to miss Tuesday afternoon's game against the Braves because of a sprained left ankle.
Lawrie suffered the injury while stealing second base during the sixth inning of Toronto's 9-3 victory on Monday night. He temporarily remained in the game, but was eventually lifted for a pinch-runner.
The 23-year-old Lawrie is technically listed as day to day, but the Blue Jays cannot afford to wait too long before deciding whether he will require a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
"We can't drag this out too long with him," manager John Gibbons said on Tuesday morning. "We'll have a better idea by the end of the day or definitely by tomorrow."
The Blue Jays are set to play their first game of the season in a National League park on Wednesday night in Atlanta. The club can ill afford to carry a short bench because of an increased need for pinch-hitters during NL play. Therefore, a decision on Lawrie's status can only be put off for so long.
If Lawrie does require an extended period of time off, the Blue Jays could promote Minor League third baseman Andy LaRoche from Triple-A Buffalo. LaRoche is hitting .295 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 41 games for the Bisons.
The only option that Gibbons has ruled out is moving Edwin Encarnacion to third. That would allow Toronto to find a spot in the lineup for the hot-hitting Adam Lind at first base, but Gibbons said it's not something that he is considering at this time.
Encarnacion came up through the Minor Leagues at third base, but appeared at the position only once last season. Instead, the club will go with someone who has more recent experience, who will likely split time with veteran Mark DeRosa.
"I don't know which way we'll go, to be honest with you, but we don't want to be left short-handed," Gibbons said.
The Blue Jays will undoubtedly miss Lawrie's defense at third, but so far this season, the third-year player has yet to figure things out at the plate. He is hitting just .209 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 37 games.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.