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Francisco to see regular playing time at first, DH

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays added a little bit of power to their lineup by purchasing the contract of Juan Francisco from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Indians.

Francisco is expected to see regular playing time at designated hitter and first base while veteran Adam Lind is on the 15-day disabled list with a sore lower back. The 26-year-old Francisco signed a Minor League contract with the Blue Jays during the first week of the regular season after being cut from the Brewers late in camp.

The 26-year-old Francisco hit 18 home runs in 348 at-bats with Milwaukee and Atlanta last season, and he is a career .243 hitter over the course of five Major League seasons.

"Francisco can hit a little bit," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has some juice in that bat, so hopefully he can add something while Lindy is out."

Francisco likely will get some time off against left-handed pitching, but for the most part will be in the lineup every day. He's expected to start at first base on Sunday afternoon to give Encarnacion a day off from the field, and he also could see some time at third base if Brett Lawrie needs a day off.

Even though Francisco is still relatively young, he has bounced around the Major Leagues quite a bit. In addition to his time with the Braves and Brewers, he also spent three years with the Reds, but has yet to find a permanent home.

Francisco's starting role with the Blue Jays will be relatively short-lived, as Lind is expected to return in early May.

"For guys to make it in the big leagues and establish themselves, there has to be opportunities," Gibbons said. "I know he's had some opportunities but it has to be the right organization, they have to like you, they have to throw you out there no matter what. But he has some talent; hopefully it shows up."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.
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