TORONTO -- Vladimir Guerrero is one step closer to getting back in the Major Leagues.
The veteran designated hitter was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday morning following a successful stint with Class A Dunedin. While playing in the Florida State League, Guerrero recorded four home runs with a .450 (9-for-20) average and a 1.550 OPS in four games.
The Blue Jays opted to skip Guerrero past Double-A and right into the Pacific Coast League, where he will face pitchers who have a little more experience.
"Little bit more of a veteran approach where breaking balls are going to be maybe a little bit more regular for him," manager John Farrell said. "But the one thing that we all know: This is a Hall of Fame-type hitter, so I think it's a matter of seeing a different type of pitching in the progression he's going to."
There is still no timetable for a promotion to the Major Leagues, but it now appears as though it will just be a matter of time. Guerrero could join the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Chicago, but it's also possible the club will opt to choose to take an extended look at the Dominican native in Las Vegas.
Guerrero spent some time in left field with Dunedin, and that work will continue in the PCL. The club originally stated it viewed Guerrero as a DH, but if the reports about his defense come back positive, it's also possible the 37-year-old will see some action in left.
More than anything else, though, Guerrero's abilities will be judged on how he looks at the plate.
"His timing has become more consistent," Farrell said. "A lot of hard contact, and that's not just because of the four home runs in the short period of time there, but in talking with [Dunedin manager] Mike Redmond, his bat speed is good and his batting practice and everything about his game has been pretty impressive."
Guerrero signed a Minor League contract with the Blue Jays in early May. He appeared in 145 games for the Orioles last season while recording 13 home runs and a .290 average with a career-low .733 OPS.
Coello called up to add depth to bullpen
TORONTO -- Right-hander Robert Coello is the latest in a long line of Blue Jays pitchers to receive an opportunity at the big league level in recent weeks.
Coello was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday to provide more depth in the bullpen. The 27-year-old was involved in one of five corresponding roster moves made by the Blue Jays in the past week, while the club made a total of seven during May.
"He'll provide another arm in the bullpen for us," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Even though he came off his last outing in five innings, he has the ability to go multiple innings if the game situation arose or how this series goes. He provides us with some additional insurance."
Coello posted a 3-1 record with a 3.22 ERA in 17 games this season for Las Vegas. He has appeared in just six games at the Major League level while posting a 4.76 ERA.
Farrell was his pitching coach in Boston during the 2010 season and said Coello's development of a fork ball has made him a more effective pitcher since that brief stint with the Red Sox.
"He's got some swing and miss to his fastball," Farrell said. "Having worked with him, four years ago, his breaking ball has tightened up a little bit more. I think he has a rare and somewhat unorthodox fork ball that is more of a true tumbling-type fork ball as opposed to a split-finger. It's a pitch you rarely see at any level in pro baseball."
The Blue Jays currently have eight relievers on their 25-man roster. They are expected to go back to seven following a three-game series against Boston as Farrell would like to add another position player into the mix.
Sunday session to determine Morrow's status
TORONTO -- Judgment day for Brandon Morrow will come on Sunday, when the Blue Jays put his injured right leg to the test.
Morrow suffered a contusion on his right shin after being hit by a line drive off the bat of Wilson Betemit during the seventh inning of Wednesday's game against the Orioles.
The right-hander avoided a major injury but will still have to get through his bullpen session on Sunday without any issues before he is cleared to start Wednesday in Chicago.
"Knowing Brandon, he's going to do everything within his capability to be ready to go once Sunday's bullpen and Wednesday's turn comes around," manager John Farrell said.
The Blue Jays anticipate Morrow will be ready for his next outing, but they are still taking a precautionary approach. He will go through treatment in each of the next two days while also having a light catch to keep his arm active.
The club had the luxury of two off-days in a five-day span, which means Morrow is already scheduled for extra rest in between outings. That added time should be enough for Morrow to make his regular turn in the rotation.
"We would have options to do that, but at this point we haven't needed to address that," Farrell said when asked about possibly pushing Morrow's next start back even further. "As we get through the weekend, we'll get a better read if additional days are needed."
The 27-year-old Morrow arguably has been the Blue Jays' best pitcher this season. He is currently 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA while striking out 62 in 68 2/3 innings as the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation behind left-hander Ricky Romero.
Bautista named Blue Jays' Player of Month
TORONTO -- Right fielder Jose Bautista was named the Blue Jays' Player of the Month for May on Friday afternoon.
Bautista picked up the award from the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America following a return to form. He recorded a team-high 22 RBIs during the past month while matching Edwin Encarnacion for the lead in homers, with nine.
The 31-year-old hit .257 while also scoring 20 runs, with four doubles and 13 walks. Bautista entered play on Friday night against Boston hitting .233 with 12 homers, 32 RBIs and a .779 OPS in 51 games this season.
Brandon Morrow (4-2, 3.50 ERA, two shutouts), Casey Janssen (0-0, 1.59 ERA, five saves), J.P. Arencibia (.278, eight homers, 19 RBIs), Encarnacion (.234, nine homers, 21 RBIs) and Kelly Johnson (.272, five homers, 18 RBIs) also received votes for their work during May.
Honda will make a donation to the charity of Bautista's choosing as part of the award.
Second baseman Kelly Johnson was back in the Blue Jays' lineup on Friday night after sitting out Wednesday's game because of a sore right hamstring. Johnson received two days of rest because of an off-day on Thursday, but his injured hamstring is something the club will have to keep a close eye on in the future.
"It's not going to be a zero issue," manager John Farrell said. "This is going to be something we have to continue to monitor, and we will, and build in rest when needed."