Hendriks to make debut; Dickey pushed back

Hendriks to make debut; Dickey pushed back

BOSTON -- The Blue Jays announced on Thursday that right-hander Liam Hendriks will be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to make Friday night's start vs. Oakland.

The move hardly comes as a surprise following more than a week of speculation that Hendriks was on the verge of becoming the club's No. 5 starter. This weekend marks the first time Toronto has required a fifth starter since Dustin McGowan lost the job on May 14.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was originally slated to start Friday night's game, but he will instead move back one day so the club can separate his outings from fellow veteran starter Mark Buehrle.

"We just decided to split up Buehrle and Dickey," manager John Gibbons said following Buehrle's 7-2 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon. "They're our old reliable guys, kind of our innings eaters."

Hendriks will make his season debut after spending the first seven weeks of the year in Buffalo. The 25-year-old got off to an impressive start with the Bisons as he posted a 1.48 ERA in nine games while striking out 36 and walking three over 48 2/3 innings.

The native of Australia was claimed off waivers from the Twins during Spring Training. He spent parts of three seasons at the big league level in Minnesota with a 3-13 record and a 6.06 ERA in 30 career games. Hendriks hits low 90s velocity on his fastball and will need to hit the corners of the plate in order to have success at the next level.

On Friday, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Esmil Rogers for assignment to clear space for Hendriks on the roster. Rogers posted a 6.97 ERA in 20 2/3 innings this season.

Oakland intends to use a pair of lefty starters this weekend with Scott Kazmir set to throw on Friday night and Drew Pomeranz scheduled to follow on Sunday. That would seem to indicate that Kratz's job is safe and the Blue Jays will instead return to a seven-man bullpen.

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.