TORONTO - Yunel Escobar had been expected to return to the Blue Jays lineup Tuesday, but he still is several days away after being hit on his left arm, just above the elbow, by a pitch from Baltimore’s Rick VandenHurk on Saturday.
“We’re pretty banged up,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “Yunel is still day-to-day and he has quite a bit of swelling in that left arm and DeWayne Wise is unavailable because of an upper respiratory problem and some dental work.”
Escobar’s arm is badly swollen, but Farrell said that an MRI revealed no structural damage.
Colby Rasmus is expected back later this week after recovering from a sore wrist. He started in centre field for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in playoff games on the weekend.
Lind, Johnson sit
Adam Lind and Kelly Johnson both got the night off Tuesday against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
In his last 17 games, Lind is just 12-for-68, while Johnson is 3-for-35 in his most recent 10 games.
“Both he and Kelly will be back in the lineup (Wednesday). We were trying to get another righthanded bat in the lineup against Wakefield,” Farrell said. “Righthanders have had a little more success against him than lefties have.”
It wasn’t Farrell’s first choice to put Adam Loewen in centre field on Tuesday at quirky Fenway Park, given Loewen’s relative inexperience in centre, but the manager believed Loewen’s bat would play well against Wakefield.
“It’s not an easy centre field,” Farrell said. “We have ways, if we need to, to get (Mike) McCoy into centre, slide (Chris) Woodward over to short and Johnson could go in at second base, but I still like Adam’s swing against Wakefield.”
At least until next week, the Jays will go with Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, Dustin McGowan and Henderson Alvarez as their five starters. As innings build up, there may be some adjustments made over the final two weeks of the season.
Farrell has multiple spot-start options since the rosters expanded in September, with Brad Mills, Kyle Drabek, Joel Carreno, Chad Beck and Luis Perez all available.
“At this point we haven’t made any changes going through the New York series,” Farrell said.