TORONTO - Major League Baseball isn't always about the first class charter flights, the five-star hotels and the gourmet food.
For bubble players like Chad Jenkins and Jonathan Diaz, there can be days like Monday.
Jenkins, the 26-year-old bullpen long man, is up for a third time already this season. Diaz is a 29-year-old utility infielder who's back for a second go round.
"He was supposed to get on the plane with me," said Jenkins. "We checked our bags, got our little boarding pass and both of ours said get your seat at the gate."
But Diaz didn't join Jenkins on the Monday morning flight from Charlotte, where the Triple-A Bisons were playing the White Sox's affiliate the Knights, because the flight was oversold.
"I was panicking," said Jenkins. "I was like, um, I don't know what to do, should we call (traveling secretary) Mike (Shaw) and see who they need more and that person gets on the plane first?"
Jenkins went ahead and boarded the plane. Diaz was on the phone with Shaw. The flight was re-booked. Jenkins promised Diaz he'd pick up his teammate's bags, which already had been placed in the plane.
Jenkins arrived in Toronto in plenty of time to arrive to the stadium for three o'clock. Diaz, who was in the starting lineup at shortstop to accommodate a day off for Jose Reyes, pulled in closer to six o'clock.
"It's been an awful day," said Jenkins. "Travel has been awful."
He can only smile when he reflects upon the last two weeks of his life. Jenkins was first recalled on April 26. He spent two nights in Toronto and then boarded a flight to Kansas City with his teammates. After three nights in the Midwest, he flew with the Blue Jays to Pittsburgh. After one night there, Jenkins was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. The driver got lost on the way to Buffalo, which added more than an hour to the trip. The next day, he was back in a car from Buffalo to Pittsburgh, recalled as Brandon Morrow's injury replacement. He flew to Philadelphia with the team, spent two nights there and returned to Toronto for two more nights. Jenkins flew to Atlanta when he was optioned after Thursday's game, spent time with his parents and they drove together to meet the Bisons in Charlotte on Saturday. Monday morning, he left Charlotte for Toronto.
"My back doesn't know what a solid mattress feels like for more than three days," said Jenkins. "It's been fun. It's been a ride. It's been crazy."
Jenkins participated in a Shoot For A Cure charity event in Atlanta and spent time with his father, Steve. He enjoyed a Mother's Day dinner with his mom, Gail, on Sunday night.
In between, he pitched two innings for the Bisons on Saturday night and was pleased with the result given the travel and the resultant infrequent throwing schedule.
"I got on the mound and that's the best command I've had on my sinker all year," said Jenkins. "I was throwing front doors, I was throwing the back door to the righty where I was going out and coming back and I had two strike outs looking. I was like, what happened? Where did this come from? I threw the other night, my arm feels good and I feel like my command is coming back and I'm hoping it stays."
Edwin Encarnacion is heating up, so much so that Major League Baseball is taking notice, naming the Blue Jays first baseman the American League Player of the Week.
In seven games from May 5-11, Encarnacion went 9-28 (.321) with four home runs, a triple and two doubles.
The Blue Jays have made 42 roster moves as of Monday, with the disabling of Sergio Santos, the recalls of Chad Jenkins and Jonathan Diaz and the optioning of Erik Kratz to Triple-A Buffalo.
The moves break down like this: 10 relate to the disabled list; 16 involve recalls or minor league contract selections; 10 involve players being optioned to the minor leagues; six players have been designated for assignment.
If it seems like the Blue Jays tinker with the roster a lot it's because they do. You may be surprised, however, to learn the Yankees have made more roster moves than Toronto.
Here's the American League East divisional breakdown as of May 12:
New York Yankees: 49
Toronto Blue Jays: 42
Baltimore Orioles: 37
Tampa Bay Rays: 31
Boston Red Sox: 21