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Blue Jays place Estrada on DL with glute strain

Outfielder Smith recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in corresponding move
MLB.com @gregorMLB

BOSTON -- The Blue Jays tried to wait as long as they could, but ultimately the club was forced to place right-hander Marco Estrada on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left glute muscle.

Toronto initially hoped Estrada would be able to start Saturday's game against the Red Sox, but that was ruled out on Thursday. On Friday, Estrada was officially placed on the DL, and Saturday's start will instead go to right-hander Sam Gaviglio.

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BOSTON -- The Blue Jays tried to wait as long as they could, but ultimately the club was forced to place right-hander Marco Estrada on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left glute muscle.

Toronto initially hoped Estrada would be able to start Saturday's game against the Red Sox, but that was ruled out on Thursday. On Friday, Estrada was officially placed on the DL, and Saturday's start will instead go to right-hander Sam Gaviglio.

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Manager John Gibbons hinted on Thursday that Gaviglio was a candidate to start vs. Boston, but the decision is still somewhat surprising because he will be making this outing on two days' rest. Gaviglio allowed six runs over 1 2/3 innings while throwing 48 pitches in a loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

"We thought [Estrada] might be able to go [Saturday], but it's not worth it," Gibbons said Friday afternoon. "So that clears a spot. It will probably be Gaviglio ... Pretty sure that's what we're going to do, and we'll just let him go. See how long he can go."

Video: NYY@TOR: Gaviglio strikes out Bird in the 4th

The timing of Estrada's DL stint certainly won't help his trade value. The 35-year-old was expected to be shopped ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and he was shaping up to be one of Toronto's more valuable trade assets alongside fellow starter J.A. Happ.

Estrada's stint is backdated to July 10, which is the maximum three days a retroactive move can be made per Major League Baseball rules. He will be eligible to return for the Blue Jays' first game after the All-Star break, the opener of a three-game series against the Orioles.

By choosing Gaviglio to pitch Saturday, the Blue Jays decided against calling up someone from the Minor Leagues to make the spot start. Triple-A Buffalo's Chris Rowley would have made some sense as the choice, while Toronto also could have decided to bring up lefty Thomas Pannone, who is already on the club's 40-man roster.

"When [Gaviglio] is on, he can throw some innings," Gibbons said. "It's not an easy lineup, so that could be a factor too."

Hernandez scratched
Left fielder Teoscar Hernandez was a late scratch for Friday's game against the Red Sox. Hernandez initially was in the lineup, hitting fifth and starting in left field, but he was pulled approximately two hours before the game with a sore left heel. Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., who was recalled from Buffalo prior to the game, took Estrada's spot on the roster and was inserted into the lineup as Hernandez's replacement.

Video: TOR@BOS: Hernandez slugs a homer 434 feet vs. Price

No day off for Smoak
Justin Smoak was back in the Blue Jays' starting lineup on Friday despite being lifted for a pinch-runner during the eighth inning of Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Red Sox. Gibbons admitted that Smoak has been dealing with cramping issues in one of his legs of late, but that it was not enough to keep Smoak out of the starting lineup. Instead of giving Smoak the day off, Toronto opted to start him at designated hitter.

Video: TOR@BOS: Smoak plates Grichuk with a double to center

Guerrero back on track
Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. officially began a rehab stint with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays on Friday afternoon. Guerrero, who has been out since June 6 with a left knee injury, went 1-for-3 with a walk in his return. A recent media report suggested that Guerrero would be promoted to Triple-A Buffalo once healthy, but a club spokesman denied any official decisions have been made about where Guerrero will play once his current rehab assignment comes to an end.

Guerrero is the Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect, and also the top prospect in MLB, according to MLB Pipeline.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Marco Estrada