Blue Jays recall Tepera, option Jenkins

Blue Jays recall Tepera, option Jenkins

TORONTO -- Ryan Tepera's six-year odyssey through the Minor Leagues was finally rewarded on Friday afternoon when he was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo.

Tepera joined Toronto prior to a three-game series against the Red Sox, while right-hander Chad Jenkins was optioned to the Minors. It's the latest in what has become a seemingly endless list of roster moves by the Blue Jays over the past couple of weeks.

The 27-year-old Tepera hopes this is only the beginning, but after putting on a big league uniform for the first time, it also was the perfect opportunity to reflect on that quest, which began as a 19th-round Draft pick in 2009.

"This has been my dream ever since I was a little kid, it's been a crazy day," said Tepera, who was out for dinner with a couple of his teammates on Thursday night when his manager called with the news. "Down in Buffalo, it was crazy. People were moving up and down, we had a whole new team after a week, the next week we had a whole new team. It's been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride and a waiting game."

Scott Copeland, Andrew Albers and Jenkins also received recent promotions by the Blue Jays, but each of their stints proved to be short-lived. There seems to be an expectation that Tepera's stay could be longer and manager John Gibbons said that it's possible he will be used in middle relief.

The heightened expectations stem from Tepera's strong start to the season in Buffalo. He allowed one run over 15 2/3 innings, and the addition of a cutter has made him a lot more effective against left-handed hitters, which was a weakness of his in the past.

Tepera also overhauled his slider and took a little bit of velocity off the pitch to make it a more suitable complement to the cutter and fastball combination. He'll have a chance to join Roberto Osuna, Liam Hendriks and Steve Delabar in the middle innings, while veteran lefty Jeff Francis assumes the role of long reliever.

"The past couple of years I struggled consistently getting lefties out," Tepera said when asked about the addition of the cutter. "The cutter has helped out tremendously so it's a good weapon right now. ... I just have a good feel for it. I've always thrown kind of a harder slider working my way up through the Minor Leagues. It's a little bit bigger than a cutter, it's got more depth and I think that helped out with the feel."

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.