Blue Jays a few weeks away from everyday lineup
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are at least two weeks away from fielding a full lineup of everyday players as they recover from a litany of injuries, manager John Gibbons said prior to Saturday's game against the Rangers.
With Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, Nolan Reimold and Adam Lind on the 15-day disabled list, the Blue Jays have been forced to piece together a starting nine with the help of Triple-A callups since the injury bug bit hard earlier this month.
"Nobody is close to returning just yet," said Gibbons. "I don't expect to see anybody within the next couple of weeks, anyway."
Reimold, the latest Blue Jay to go on the DL, could be the first to return, Gibbons said. The 30-year-old, who was claimed off waivers from the Orioles on July 6, is suffering from a left calf strain sustained in his fourth game with Toronto on July 11.
"Hopefully, it's a two-week deal," Gibbons said. "Maybe a little longer. ... Reimold was playing good. He looked pretty good in there. [Defensively] solid. But the key is [if] can he stay on the field."
Reimold was 4-for-12 in four games with the Blue Jays prior to being injured. He was brought in to man right field until Jose Bautista's strained left hamstring fully recovered. The Blue Jays had eased Bautista back into the lineup, placing him in the designated-hitter role for five games and at first base for six games. But Reimold's trip to the DL forced the star slugger back into the outfield earlier than the club would have liked, according to Gibbons. Bautista was back in the DH role on Saturday.
"It's not ideal," said Gibbons. "Bautista is still guarding [his hamstring] a little bit, but I don't think he's far from [being 100 percent]. We've got him DHing to give him a breather, but we still need him out there."
Gibbons couldn't offer any defined timetables for the return of Lawrie (fractured right index finger), Encarnacion (right quadriceps strain) or Lind (right foot fracture).
Gibbons did indicate, however, that right-hander Brandon Morrow, who's on the 60-day DL with a torn tendon sheath in his right index finger, would head to Florida to ramp up his rehab following the Blue Jays' road trip to New York next weekend.