DETROIT -- The Blue Jays will be without Josh Donaldson for at least another week, but the club received some good news on Friday afternoon with the returns of shortstop Aledmys Diaz and outfielder Randal Grichuk.Diaz and Grichuk were activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday's 5-2 loss
DETROIT -- The Blue Jays will be without Josh Donaldson for at least another week, but the club received some good news on Friday afternoon with the returns of shortstop Aledmys Diaz and outfielder Randal Grichuk.
Diaz and Grichuk were activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday's 5-2 loss to the Tigers. Outfielder John Smith and right-hander Jake Petricka were optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room the active roster.
Grichuk has been out since April 29 with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Diaz had been out since May 6 because of a sprained left ankle, and both players were immediately inserted into the Blue Jays' starting lineup vs. Detroit. Diaz went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Grichuk went 0-for-2.
"It was frustrating getting off to the start that I did and not playing the way I know that I'm capable of," said Grichuk, who hit just .106 with a .435 OPS in his first stint with the Blue Jays. "Then having to go on the DL kind of with that taste in my teammates' minds and eyes and coaching staff. But it was a good little break, and I got to go take a week off and just take a mental break and then be able to start swinging."
Diaz once again becomes the Blue Jays' starting shortstop, which is a welcome sign for a team that went through a revolving door of replacements at the position during his absence. Toronto has used six shortstops this season, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Richard Urena, Russell Martin, Gio Urshela, Mpho' Ngoepe and Yangervis Solarte all getting an opportunity, but none were unable to make the most of it.
All of the players on that list, with the exception of Urena, were not natural shortstops. The lack of a natural shortstop took a toll on the team defensively, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons attempted to put a positive spin on what had been a difficult month for an organization that went 9-19 in May.
"They were part of the original plan, I'm glad to see them," Gibbons said. "It's a new month. Tough month of May, obviously, but now it looks like the way it's supposed to look, and let's see what we can do with it."
• Injured left fielder Steve Pearce still has not shown a whole lot of progress in his return from a strained oblique muscle. Pearce, who has been out since May 3, is "progressing slowly" per the club's latest medical report, which is very similar to what has been said about him for the past several weeks. There is no timetable for his return.
• Right-hander Marcus Stroman threw a side session earlier this week, and he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Following the conclusion of that bullpen session, and a short period of rest, Stroman will be re-evaluated to determine the next steps of his rehab. Stroman has been out since May 8 for right shoulder fatigue and also for a "period of mental rest," according to the club.
• Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been "jogging on flat ground this week and tolerating it well," according to the club. Tulowitzki, who had surgery to remove bone spurs from each of his feet earlier this year, is not expected to return any time soon.
• The Blue Jays' game on Sunday, July 8 vs. the Yankees, originally scheduled to start at 1:07 p.m. ET, has been selected as an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast as part of MLB's national broadcast package, and it will now begin at 8:05 p.m. ET.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.