Blue Jays give Litsch another start, send Ohka to bullpen Print
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Wednesday, 16 May 2007 12:33
MLB Headline News

 TORONTO (AP) -Rookie Jesse Litsch earned a neat reward for his sparkling debut - he'll stay in Toronto's rotation for now.
Litsch won his major league debut Tuesday night, giving up one run and four hits over 8 2-3 innings to beat Baltimore. He'll pitch again Sunday in Philadelphia.
``He stayed in his delivery, threw strikes, fielded his position well,'' general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Wednesday. ``There wasn't much not to like.''
``He's going to get another start, probably more than one more start,'' Ricciardi said. ``We'll ride him.''
Moving to the bullpen, at least for now, is right-hander Tomo Ohka, who is 2-4 with a 5.52 ERA in eight starts. Ohka has not won in his past three outings.
``You'll see Ohka again at some point when we need five starters, but right now he's the guy we can skip to get this kid a start,'' Ricciardi said.
With two off days scheduled in the next week, Toronto won't need a fifth starter again until May 26.
The 22-year-old Litsch went 5-1 with an 0.96 ERA in six starts at Double-A New Hampshire before being called up to replace Roy Halladay, who is out for at least a month following an appendectomy.
Litsch walked three and struck out one in beating Baltimore. Twenty-one of his 26 outs came on ground balls.
``I threw a lot of sinkers last night, which was new to me, and it worked,'' Litsch said. ``That's one of the hardest balls to hit.''
Minus Halladay, and with closer B.J. Ryan out for the season after elbow surgery, the Blue Jays are scrambling to keep their pitching staff intact.
Right-handed reliever Brandon League (sore shoulder) threw in the low 90s mph at an extended spring game in Florida on Wednesday and will pitch again Friday. With his velocity returning, Ricciardi said League may not require surgery.
``I don't think so,'' Ricciardi said. ``I think he's turned the corner.''
Left-handed starter Gustavo Chacin, however, continues to experience soreness in his shoulder. His return is still several weeks away.
``We'll keep treating him and see after next week,'' Ricciardi said.
 

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