Thames is the Jays' bench
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays infielders Edwin Encarnacion (left) and John McDonald -- shown in a photo from sunny spring training — were not available to play Friday. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
TORONTO - The Blue Jays went into their game Friday with a one-man bench because of injuries to Edwin Encarnacion and John McDonald.
Since the Jays employ a 13-man pitching staff, that leaves only 12 men on the best of days. Friday, Eric Thames was the only extra position player who could be called upon.
Encarnacion fouled a ball off his big toe on Monday in New York and then did it again in batting practice Friday.
“We’re at the point where the toenail might have to be drilled to relieve the blood that’s built up in there,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
McDonald has a strained right hamstring that he has been nagging at him for a couple of weeks.
“He came out of a game in Minnesota (on May 15) and has been dealing with it,” Farrell said. “Thursday night as the game wore on, it started to bother him more.”
If he continues to make progress in rehabbing his sore lower back, first baseman Adam Lind could be back with the Blue Jays next Friday.
“His rehab is in three phases, with increasing volume and intensity of work in each phase,” Farrell said. “He is in phase 3 today. He will be at DH in an extended spring game on Monday. He’s been doing his work at first base and taking live BP without any issues.”
Barring a setback, Lind will appear in some Florida State League games this week and could be back in Toronto by next weekend.
“That is the optimistic estimate,” Farrell said.
After the devastating injury suffered by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in a home plate collision, his agent has called for greater protection for catchers in the rule book. Farrell doesn’t agree.
“It’s a shame he got hurt but those plays are inherent to the position,” Farrell said. “If a catcher is standing in the basepath before the ball gets there, he’s exposing himself to a collision, but you can’t take the plate away without any risk when you don’t have the ball.”