Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion and first baseman Adam Lind were not in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre.
Both players remain day to day — Encarnacion is nursing a tight left hamstring while Lind is dealing with a back strain. Catcher J.P. Arencibia was also given the night off after jarring his shoulder in a collision last week in Boston.
The injuries forced Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to tinker with his lineup for the second game of the four-game set with the Tigers.
Light-hitting infielder Munenori Kawasaki was the designated hitter in the No. 9 spot. Backup catcher Josh Thole was slotted in the No. 7 position and centre-fielder Colby Rasmus was given cleanup spot duties.
Left-fielder Rajai Davis held the No. 2 spot behind leadoff man Jose Reyes and ahead of right-fielder Jose Bautista.
Mark DeRosa got the start at first base and followed Rasmus in the order. Third baseman Maicer Izturis was in the No. 6 spot and second baseman Emilio Bonifacio batted eighth.
“We’re beat up,” Gibbons said. “Eddie and Lindy, we think both of them (should be ready) in the next couple of days. So it’s day to day. They’re both feeling better but not quite ready to go yet.”
Gibbons said that Arencibia would be available to pinch-hit but it was too early to tell if Encarnacion or Lind could come off the bench if needed.
The Toronto manager was joined for his usual pre-game media availability by Alex Anthopoulos. The general manager provided the following updates on injured pitchers throughout the system:
— Right-hander Kyle Drabek (elbow) is close to finishing his rehab assignment and will probably soon be optioned to the Florida State League.
— Right-hander Drew Hutchison (elbow) has been throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice sessions and will probably start a rehab assignment soon.
— Left-hander J.A. Happ (knee) has been throwing live batting practice to keep his arm in shape but his knee is still not 100 per cent. His rehab assignment won’t start until soreness in the knee is completely gone.
— Right-hander Brandon Morrow (forearm) is throwing without pain. Morrow threw from 60 feet Tuesday and will likely throw from 90 feet Wednesday. Will soon start a proper throwing program, which would be followed by a rehab assignment.
— Left-hander Luis Perez (elbow) is throwing side sessions and is feeling better, but “he’s probably still pretty far away,” Anthopoulos said.
— Right-hander Sergio Santos (triceps) was expected to start a rehab assignment Tuesday night.
— Right-hander Ramon Ortiz (elbow) is still dealing with soreness and is not close to starting a rehab assignment.
Anthopoulos was also asked whether the pitcher injuries might affect his plans ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
“Hopefully we don’t need to make any changes and guys end up doing well and before we know it, guys like Happ and Morrow are back and we have a good problem on our hands,” he said. “So I’d say it’s start to start and week to week at this point and really I find the trade market is pretty slow right now anyway. A lot of people are just kind of gathering information.
“The fact that we do have guys that are going to come back, we’d have to feel pretty confident that it’s a significant upgrade.”
In addition, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (ankle) was scheduled to play for Class-A affiliate Lansing on Thursday. Lawrie, from Langley, B.C., is expected to continue his rehab assignment for two more weeks.
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