Blue Jays send RHP Towers, SS Adams to minor leagues

Updated: May 25, 2006, 3:08 AM ET
SportsTicker

TORONTO - Righthander Josh Towers and shortstop Russ Adams felt the brunt of the Toronto Blue Jays' expectations on Wednesday.

After signing three key free agents and acquiring two more everyday players via trade this past offseason, the Blue Jays expected to challenge the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for supremacy in the American League East.

However, with Toronto (25-21) playing mediocre baseball and in third place - two games behind the Red Sox - they optioned 2005 mainstays Towers and Adams to Class AAA Syracuse following Wednesday's 10-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Toronto spent over $100 million this past offseason to secure righthander A.J. Burnett, who has pitched just once due to an elbow injury, and closer B.J. Ryan. It forked over $5 million for catcher Bengie Molina and brought in first baseman Lyle Overbay and third baseman Troy Glaus in separate trades.

After a breakout season in 2005, Towers is just 1-8 with a 9.00 ERA in 10 starts this season. He surrendered four runs and six hits before being pulled after just 1 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Devil Rays. The 29-year-old was 13-12 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts last year.

"All I'm going to say is he's going down to clear his head. That's all I'm going to say on that," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "I don't want to beat it to death."

Adams has struggled at the plate and in the field, especially with his throwing. The 25-year-old is batting .258 with two homers and 16 RBIs. He has made 10 errors - second most of any shortstop in the American League. The 2002 first-round pick hit .256 with eight homers and 63 RBIs, committing 26 errors in 139 games last season.

With rookie Ty Taubenheim making his second start Sunday against Toronto and lefthander Gustavo Chacin expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday to pitch again Boston, the Blue Jays will not need a starter to replace Towers for two weeks.

Defensive specialist John McDonald is expected to get the bulk of the playing time at shortstop with career minor leaguer Luis Figueroa backing him up. On Friday, Toronto is expected to bring up Figueroa from Syracuse, where he is hitting .245 with no homers and eight RBIs in 26 games.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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