CLEVELAND -- Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki were held out of the Blue Jays' lineup on Friday as each dealt with a minor injury.Donaldson missed the series opener vs. Cleveland because of a jammed right thumb. He sustained the injury while hitting a ground ball during Wednesday's 7-4 victory over
CLEVELAND -- Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki were held out of the Blue Jays' lineup on Friday as each dealt with a minor injury.
Donaldson missed the series opener vs. Cleveland because of a jammed right thumb. He sustained the injury while hitting a ground ball during Wednesday's 7-4 victory over the Yankees, and he is considered day to day.
Tulowitzki hurt his right calf muscle during that same game vs. New York and also is considered day to day. In both cases, the players likely could have played on Friday, but the club decided to take a cautious approach and instead provide them with an extra day of rest.
"[Donaldson is] feeling better, but he jammed his thumb pretty good the other day, so we're going to give him another day," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Tulo, the other day, did something to his calf. Both should be all right tomorrow, hopefully. We'll see."
Donaldson has been dealing with the thumb injury for most of the season. It flares up from time to time, but for the most part, he has been able to play through the discomfort whenever it surfaces. Donaldson missed a game in June because of the same issue, but he has appeared in all but three of Toronto's 122 games this season.
Tulowitzki missed three weeks earlier this season because of a sore right quad. The latest injury is on the same leg but in a different area, and the expectation is that he will not require an extended absence. The hope is that both Tulowitzki and Donaldson will play Saturday night in Cleveland.
To avoid being short-handed around the infield, Toronto recalled utility man Ryan Goins from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned Darrell Ceciliani to Buffalo prior to Friday's game. Goins got the start at shortstop on Friday night, while backup infielder Darwin Barney replaced Donaldson at third.
"We'll evaluate as we go along, but we don't think it will be too much longer," Gibbons said. "Tulo could probably play if he had to, but if he makes it worse, we're in a bind."
Time off coming soon for Sanchez
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez remains on schedule to start Saturday night against the Indians, but after that, it's possible his next outing will be skipped. Sanchez is trying to make it through the season on an unspecified innings limit, and the Blue Jays would like to limit his workload whenever possible.
Toronto recently moved to a six-man rotation to help protect Sanchez's arm, but the club will have to do more than that if it wants to avoid shutting him down later in the year. The expectation is that Sanchez will have at least a couple of starts skipped down the stretch, and it sounds like his next turn through the rotation is when it will happen.
"He'll pitch tomorrow, and then there's a chance we could back him off a little bit after that to get a little breather there," Gibbons said. "It's not necessarily ideal, but [the starters] have all responded so far, they've all been fine for the most part. We'll run it and see how it works. We'll give Sanchy what he needs. If we give him a little break, everybody else will kind of fall in place on a regular turn anyway."
Gibbons also announced that right-hander Marco Estrada would be available to pitch out of the bullpen either Saturday or Sunday if necessary. Estrada volunteered for the potential relief role in part because he will go seven days between scheduled starts. He's not slated to pitch until Wednesday against the Angels.
"It was kind of his idea," Gibbons said. "It would do him some good, and then he'll come back and pitch Wednesday."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.