TORONTO -- Francisco Cordero has been hit hard since taking over the closer's role in the absence of Sergio Santos.
Cordero has allowed an earned run in four of his past five outings, losing one game and blowing two saves over that stretch.
The veteran was supposed to be a security blanket for the Blue Jays in the event anything happened to Santos, but he's off to a shaky start this season. The struggles, however, haven't discouraged manager John Farrell.
"He gives you everything he has," Farrell said. "He's going to force the opposition to beat him, he doesn't create issues for himself by an abnormal number of walks. He has tremendous experience and success in the role.
"He's our closer."
Cordero has converted just two of his four save opportunities and carried a 5.73 ERA into Wednesday's series finale against the Rangers.
After Toronto's bullpen tied the Angels for most blown saves in 2011 with 25, the club traded for Santos, who saved 30 games with the White Sox, and Cordero, who had 37 with the Reds last year, in order to revamp one of its greatest weaknesses. However, the bullpen has been a disappointment thus far, as the Blue Jays have blown six saves -- tying them with the Angels for the most in baseball -- and have a 4.52 ERA, which is the fourth-worst mark in the American League.
Cordero, 36, is second on the active saves list with 329, trailing Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Farrell swaps Escobar, Johnson in lineup
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a switch to the lineup for their series-ending game with Texas, swapping Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson in the batting order, and it seemed to pay off.
Johnson hit a two-run homer, his sixth of the year, and Escobar went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two extra-base hits in Toronto's 11-5 victory.
After Escobar hit .217 with a .257 on-base percentage over 106 at-bats out of the leadoff spot entering the game, manager John Farrell decided to make the change.
"It's something we looked at in Spring Training," Farrell said. "Hopefully it gives Kelly [Johnson] a chance to get on base a little more frequently, and then we have the option to do some things behind him with Yunel's ability to handle the bat."
Farrell wouldn't commit as to whether this would be a permanent move, but it's something that he's discussed recently, and on-base percentage is a quality he values greatly. Johnson's .377 OBP is tops on the team among all Blue Jays starters.
There were a few other changes to the lineup Wednesday, but it had more to do with the Blue Jays playing a day game following a night contest and the particular matchup.
Lefties Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus were given the day off as the Rangers started southpaw Matt Harrison, who has held left-handers to a .094 average over 32 at-bats entering play Wednesday. Ben Francisco was the designated hitter with Encarnacion shifting over to first base, and Rajai Davis got the start in center.
That moved seemed to pay dividends also, as Francisco collected a pair of base hits and reached base three times, while Davis went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Davis was forced to leave the game in the fifth, however, with what Farrell described as a strained left hip flexor.
"[He was] examined after the game, there's no deficiencies or indents that sometimes a muscle pull can indicate," Farrell said. "He's day to day at this point."
Prior to Wednesday's game, Farrell spoke about how impressed he is with what Davis brings to the team.
"He can play all three outfield positions and gives our bench a lot of flexibility," Farrell said. "Whether he's used late in the game as pinch-runner, against some lefties -- he's always prepared, and the ability to play all outfield positions is a strength of his, and it gives us some versatility.
"We've got the ability to use him to match up in certain situations, but then when he's not in the starting lineup, he can be a weapon coming off the bench in a number of different ways."
Crawford optioned to Triple-A
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays optioned left-hander Evan Crawford to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled righty Joel Carreno, who pitched a scoreless ninth while striking out two in Wednesday's 11-5 win over Texas.
"We wanted to get another right-handed reliever here," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said about the decision. "With today and a predominantly right-handed-hitting team in Texas and the Angels [who the Blue Jays play next] are going to be the same type of lineup, where there's primarily right-handed hitters throughout. That's where we felt another right-handed pitcher was needed. Evan was the guy who was the optionable reliever. It had nothing to do with performance or anything like that."
Carreno made his first career start against Cleveland on April 8 and lasted six innings while surrendering four runs in the loss. He was optioned to Triple-A following that outing, and in four starts with the 51s, he went 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA.
Crawford, meanwhile, had been brought up to Toronto on two different occasions -- most recently when Sergio Santos was placed on the disabled list. Over five appearances out of the bullpen, Crawford posted a 4.50 ERA.
Snider placed on seven-day DL with wrist injury
TORONTO -- Travis Snider was placed on the seven-day disabled list, but Blue Jays manager John Farrell said it was more of a precautionary move than anything else.
"He felt some soreness in his right wrist, so it delayed the initiation of baseball activities," Farrell said. "It's more managing the symptoms. Nothing has changed as far as the initial evaluation. One, we needed the roster spot in Triple-A, and then, two, we didn't want to rush this."
Snider injured his wrist diving for a ball during a game with the Las Vegas 51s on Thursday. The 24-year-old was off to a hot start, batting .400 with four homers, 23 RBIs and a 1.170 OPS over 19 games.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.