Litsch, 26, was placed on the 15-day DL on May 19 with a right shoulder impingement after making eight starts for Toronto this season and logging a 4-3 record with a 4.66 ERA.
The club was faced with a tough decision, since Litsch began his rehab assignment on June 17 and, according to MLB rules, a rehab assignment can last just 30 days. After that point, the team has to either recall the player to the Major League roster or option him to one of its Minor League affiliates.
And with all five spots in the Toronto rotation fairly secured by Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Carlos Villanueva and Jo-Jo Reyes, Litsch became the odd man out. Reyes is just 5-7 with a 4.94 ERA this year, but he is out of Minor League options and would have to clear waivers before being sent down.
Farrell said on Saturday that Litsch's fastball velocity and cutter were much improved in his most recent outing, calling it a good step forward. But there simply was not a seat for Litsch to fill on the Major League roster.
Litsch has also made seven starts in the Minors this season -- six coming during his rehabilitation assignment for Class A Lansing, Double-A New Hampshire and Las Vegas -- and he owns a record of 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA in those.