TORONTO -- An impressive group of all-time Blue Jays' greats were on hand Sunday afternoon to welcome Carlos Delgado to the Level of Excellence.
George Bell, Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar, Cito Gaston, Pat Gillick and Paul Beeston all took part in the ceremony that saw Delgado's name placed on the facade of the upper deck in left field.
Delgado's family was in attendance as were some of his longtime former teammates, including Shawn Green, Alex Gonzalez and Jose Cruz Jr. It was a memorable day for the slugging first baseman who became the 10th person in franchise history to receive the honour.
"I can't tell you how excited and how honoured I am to be here today," Delgado said from the on-field podium. "Twenty years ago, on this very same field, I started living a dream as a Major League player.
"I want to say thank you to Pat Gillick, Paul Beeston and the Toronto organization for giving me the opportunity to come to professional baseball, for giving me the opportunity to become a Major Leaguer."
Delgado addressed the crowd at Rogers Centre, received a Level of Excellence suit jacket and was presented with a painting montage of his playing days in Toronto by current Blue Jays Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes.
The 41-year-old Delgado went on to throw out of the ceremonial first pitch and left the field to a standing ovation as the fans paid tribute to the best homegrown power hitter the Blue Jays have ever produced.
Delgado still leads the franchise in virtually every major statistical category. He's first in home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), OPS (.949), runs (889), extra-base hits (690) and walks (827).
The native of Puerto Rico also ranks second in on-base percentage (.392) and third in hits (1,413), while playing the second-most games of any Blue Jays player with 1,423. He's a two-time All-Star and received MVP votes after seven of his 17 big league seasons, including 2003, when he finished second to Texas' Alex Rodriguez.
"When you're in the middle of playing, or you're in the middle of the season, you're not thinking about retirement, you're not thinking about level of excellence you're not thinking about anything except going out and trying to have the best season that you can," Delgado said.
"Having said that after you retire and you get that phone call, this is a very special day for me and I want to have friends, family here, so the whole crew is here, because I want to share that moment with them. So, it's an honour to accept this."
Melky activated, batting fifth in left field
TORONTO -- Melky Cabrera was activated from the disabled list on Sunday, batting fifth and in left field for the Blue Jays in their series finale against the Rays.
Cabrera had been dealing with left knee tendinitis, along with lingering hamstring and quadriceps soreness, but that is behind him now.
"This is the best it feels in a long time," Cabrera said through interpreter Luis Rivera. "I worked really hard to get into shape. I feel great now."
The 28-year-old had been on the DL since June 28. However, the knee issue had been bothering him even longer.
"The problem with the knee was that I fouled a ball off of it. Then I hit the wall in Texas with my knee, and that what's made it so bad," Cabrera said. "My knee was bothering me a little bit. I had inflammation and I couldn't take the pain anymore. So, it was time for me to shut it down."
At the time of the injury, Cabrera was hitting .278 with three home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 runs, and two stolen bases in 78 games.
"The hamstring and knees feel real good [now]," Cabrera said. "I'm happy to be back and helping the club."
To make room for Cabrera, reliever Neil Wagner was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
Sunday's game marked the first time this season that Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie, and Cabrera were all in the lineup for the Blue Jays.
Happ on fast track back to Toronto
TORONTO -- Left-hander J.A. Happ is on the fast track to returning to the Blue Jays.
Happ was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and will make his first start Tuesday against Columbus.
Happ has been sidelined since being hit in the head with a line drive in Tampa Bay on May 8. However, it's been his right knee that's been bothering him, which was aggravated when he fell off the mound after being struck.
Happ has made two starts in the Minors, with his longest outing being five shutout innings with Class A Dunedin on Thursday.
It's likely that the 30-year-old will need two starts at Triple-A before making his return to Toronto.
In seven starts this season, Happ has a 2-2 record with a 4.91 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .250 batting average against and 26 strikeouts in 33 innings.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @EvanPeaslee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.