Blue Jays in no hurry to return to seven-man bullpen

Gibbons wants to take longer look at relievers

Blue Jays in no hurry to return to seven-man bullpen

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still don't have a firm date for when they will return to a seven-man bullpen.

Toronto has been carrying an extra reliever since the start of the season. The plan is to drop one and go back to the traditional number, but there are a series of factors at play before a decision can be made.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the club would like to have a longer look at the relievers, and their performance ultimately will dictate where they go from here.

"Usually this time of the year, early on, you don't need to give guys days off, so you can play a little short," Gibbons said. "Being an American League team, there's not a whole lot going on anyways. We want to see the production out of the 'pen too, see how they pitch."

Toronto likely can delay the decision for another week, but eventually will run out of time. The expectation is that the Blue Jays will drop a reliever when outfielder Michael Saunders is ready to return from the 15-day disabled list.

Miguel Castro, Brett Cecil, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Loup and Marco Estrada appear to have guaranteed jobs. That leaves Todd Redmond, Liam Hendriks and Colt Hynes on the bubble. Hynes, who is coming off an impressive Spring Training, serves a key role as the third lefty, while Redmond and Hendriks are out of options on their contracts.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.