Koskie rehab delayed

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

The Jays have switched gears with Corey Koskie.

On Thursday, the Jays said that the injured third baseman (out since May 19 with a fractured right thumb) would be leaving this weekend to go on a rehab assignment.

Koskie now will stay put with the Jays through the weekend and will not go out on rehab until Monday. The Jays will probably send him to double-A New Hampshire as the Fisher Cats will be home all of next week as opposed to triple-A Syracuse which will be on the road.

"We just wanted to make sure he's good and ready," manager John Gibbons said of his injured third baseman. "He feels good. When you come this far you don't want to rush it."

FAILS TEST

Matt Whiteside, a right-handed reliever with triple-A Syracuse, was one of three minor league players suspended by the Office of the Commissioner yesterday for violation of the minor league drug policy.

Called up by the Jays on April 20, Whiteside made just two appearances (0-0, 19.64 ERA) before being optioned back to Syracuse. The closer on the SkyChiefs, Whiteside was 0-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 18 saves in 27 appearances.

"He's a big boy. He's almost 40 years old and he knows what he's doing," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday. "I didn't think we'd go through the year without somebody being nabbed. It's unfortunate."

Whiteside, 37, was signed as a free agent last November.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Chad Gaudin's first spin with the Jays consisted of three starts the first two weeks of June where the right-hander was 1-2 with a 12.19 ERA. Now that he's back and in the bullpen, both Gibbons and Ricciardi expect him to prosper.

"It's the makeup of his stuff, he struggled with a third pitch," Ricciardi said of Gaudin who has a sinking fastball and an above average slider. "His slider, he can buckle some hitters. It's a good role for us to put him in."

Added Gibbons: "He's still a young guy who is learning and perfecting what he's got. He's got a lot of guts, he competes and that will take him a long way. When he masters his game I think he'll be a pretty good one." --


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