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Injury updates: Donaldson, Stroman

Special to MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Third baseman Josh Donaldson could be back in the Blue Jays' lineup as soon as Friday against the Nationals. Donaldson has been on the disabled list since May 29 with left calf soreness.

Manager John Gibbons said that Donaldson will give the injured calf one last test on Thursday in full-speed running drills before being declared ready for a game.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Third baseman Josh Donaldson could be back in the Blue Jays' lineup as soon as Friday against the Nationals. Donaldson has been on the disabled list since May 29 with left calf soreness.

Manager John Gibbons said that Donaldson will give the injured calf one last test on Thursday in full-speed running drills before being declared ready for a game.

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"He's going to come in tomorrow and run the bases, and maybe suit up for us on Friday," he said. "If everything goes well, he might go down to Buffalo. That's an option. Everything depends on how tomorrow goes."

Weather permitting, starter Marcus Stroman (right shoulder) will start for Class A Advanced Dunedin on Wednesday night. Barring any setbacks, the righty could join the team on its next homestand.

Travis given day off

Devon Travis was not in the starting lineup for Toronto's 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Gibbons said the decision was based on giving Travis a chance to rest his knees. Yangervis Solarte started at second base, while Gio Urshela, who is six for his last 11, got the start at third.

"I just figured that, so recently having the flare-up, that a day game after a night game, we'd be cautious with it," he said. "Plus, Urshela had like five hits in two games."

Travis had been one of the Blue Jays' hottest hitters since rejoining the team on May 22. Over his last 15 games, Travis is 14-for-48 (.292) with three extra-base hits, including a current three-game hitting streak. Travis entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning and played second base.

"When [Travis] starts hitting the ball pretty crisp the other way, he's where he should be," Gibbons said. "I don't know if that had anything to do with the knee early on, and whether he could load up on it or not."

Old school vs. new school

After facing a menagerie of relievers in two games against Tampa Bay, Gibbons said that he could see the concept catching on around the league.

Just don't expect the old-school skipper to utilize the strategy.

"Baseball is kind of a copycat game, it depends on how it all plays out," Gibbons said. "I don't like [using relievers that way]. But everybody's got to do what they got to do with what they have, and what they want to do."

Gibbons said that the concept would be a tough sell for a veteran pitching staff such as his, but admitted that the concept worked against his team, even with multiple switch-hitters in the lineup. On Tuesday, six Tampa Bay pitchers combined to limit Toronto to one run on five hits. Three Rays pitchers combined to keep the Blue Jays from scoring in the finale.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Toronto Blue Jays