Thursday, June 18, 2009 | 12:40 a.m.
In the past three days, the Toronto Blue Jays have placed three pitchers -- ace starter and former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, closer Scott Downs and starter Casey Janssen -- on the disabled list.
That, however, has created an opportunity for 24-year-old Brad Mills, who makes his major league debut on Thursday when the Blue Jays attempt to complete a 3-game sweep of Philadelphia in interleague play.
Mills becomes the third 51s call-up to make his first major league start this season, joining Robert Ray and Brett Cecil on that list.
A fourth-round pick back in 2007, Mills is 1-8 in 13 starts this season with the 51s, carrying a 4.48 ERA. Despite the numbers not popping off the page, he's held opponents to 3 or fewer runs in 10 of his 13 starts.
The lefty's finest outing of the season came on June 7, when he struck out 11 batters while throwing 7 shutout innings in a victory over Tacoma.
Thursday's Jays game begins at 10:05 a.m. PST.