ST. PETERSBURG -- Gavin Floyd likely won't pitch in the Major Leagues again this season, but he did receive some positive news about the injury that has sidelined him for most of the year.
Floyd last pitched for the Blue Jays on June 25, and after that outing he was diagnosed with a torn lat muscle. It wasn't until six weeks later that the club discovered the injury is actually a sprained right shoulder capsule.
The 33-year-old recently began throwing, but still does not have a timetable for his return. With a month remaining in the season, he's not expected to be back this year, but the nature of his injury means Floyd should be ready to go for the start of 2017.
"I've been throwing a little bit for the last three weeks and making progress," said Floyd, who has a career 4.37 ERA over 13 seasons in the big leagues. "It's been a process, but it has been good progress ... Last time I threw was probably seven or eight weeks before that, so just working through stiffness, protectiveness, things like that. With reps, it has gotten better over time."
Floyd came close to winning a job in the starting rotation out of Spring Training, but he ultimately became a key cog in the bullpen. He posted a 4.06 ERA and became a versatile arm that had the ability to throw multiple innings at a time, while also pitching in a setup role to closer Roberto Osuna.
The latest injury was the continuation of a recent trend that has seen Floyd miss large portions of the 2013-16 seasons. He hasn't pitched more than 54 1/3 innings since 2012, when he was a regular starter for the White Sox and went 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA.
Toronto has since moved on from Floyd, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, but he has been working out at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., with the hopes of returning to full form. He didn't rule out the possibility of being back at some point in September, but Floyd still has a long way to go and next season seems more realistic.
The most important thing for Floyd is that he's pitching again and will look to throw off a mound in the coming weeks. That should set him up for a return next season but it's too early to know whether Floyd will have a normal offseason or whether the rehab will continue deep into the winter months.
"That's a good question," Floyd said when asked about his offseason. "I think that's up in the air. Obviously my focus is trying to get on the mound again and throwing normal and feeling as 100 percent as I can and then see what happens."
Navarro and Estrada reunited
Right-hander Marco Estrada was reunited with his former personal catcher Dioner Navarro for Saturday night's game against the Rays. Navarro was Estrada's primary catcher during his breakout season in 2015, when the veteran righty went 12-8 with a 3.13 ERA.
Navarro re-joined the Blue Jays last week when he was acquired in a trade from the White Sox. It does not seem likely that Navarro will catch all of Estrada's starts down the stretch, but the move was made because the club wanted to give Russell Martin a break from defensive duties with a night game followed by an afternoon game this weekend.
Martin got the start at designated hitter to keep his bat in the lineup, but the fact that Navarro is so familiar with Estrada means the two should be able to hit the ground running whenever they are paired up the rest of the way.
"He needs to play, he needs some at-bats," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Navarro. "One reason we brought him over here was to help balance out that lineup a little bit. He's valuable."