Lincoln eager to contribute in weary bullpen

Lincoln eager to contribute in weary bullpen

ANAHEIM -- With the bullpen in desperate need of an additional arm, the Blue Jays turned to right-hander Brad Lincoln on Saturday.

Lincoln was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo while right-hander Todd Redmond was optioned to the Minors following a disappointing outing against the Angels. The need for a roster move arose after the relievers were forced to throw 10 innings over the past two days.

In Saturday night's 7-3 loss, Lincoln delivered three hitless innings against the Angels, striking out two and issuing one walk -- which was erased on a double play.

The emergency fill-in role is nothing new for Lincoln, who has now been recalled on three occasions this season, but it remains a difficult task for a reliever who was a mainstay in the big leagues with Pittsburgh until last year's trade prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"You just have to try and do what they ask of you and not try to take the bad out of it, whether it's being sent down or back and forth, back and forth," Lincoln said. "Just come up here, be who you are, and try to help the team get back on track."

Lincoln was on his way back from a road trip with his Bisons teammates in the wee hours of Saturday morning when he was informed of the promotion. He arrived in Buffalo around 5:30 a.m. ET and three hours later was boarding a flight to Anaheim.

The 28-year-old arrived in the Los Angeles area around 2 p.m., so he had barely any sleep, but he was more than willing to grind through the day in order to rejoin the Blue Jays.

Lincoln was 3-2 with an impressive 2.28 ERA in 23 2/3 innings for the Bisons this season while posting five saves. He hadn't pitched for the Blue Jays since June 8 when he tossed four shutout frames in an 18-inning game against the Rangers.

The native of Texas was optioned after that game with the Blue Jays in need of a fresh arm. At the time, he likely couldn't have envisioned just how long it would take to get back to the Major Leagues, but with Toronto's bullpen establishing itself as one of the best in baseball, there simply wasn't any room.

"It's tough, especially whenever the guys are throwing like they are," Lincoln said. "Kudos to them, but it does make it that much tougher for that spot to open back up to be able to come back up here and contribute. But I'm glad to be here, hope I can get in there and eat up some innings for them."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for 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.