Notes: Glaus may play this weekend
Heel ailment likely to hamper third baseman all season
TORONTO -- Before ducking into the tunnel behind Toronto's dugout, George Poulis flashed a thumbs-up at Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi. The signal came a few minutes after the club's head trainer checked in with third baseman Troy Glaus.
Glaus, who has been fighting a sore left heel all season, is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. After the third baseman completed a full workout with the Jays on Friday, Ricciardi followed Poulis down the steps to get a better indication of Glaus' status.
"He feels better," said Ricciardi, after discussing the situation with his medical staff. "But he's still day-to-day. He could come off the DL tomorrow, but it still depends on how he feels."
On Friday, Glaus looked much better as he ran through drills prior to Toronto's game against the Rangers. The 6-foot-5 slugger took swings during batting practice, fielded grounders at third base, and did some running in the outfield. Glaus didn't appear to be favoring his left heel nearly as much as he was in pregame activities on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Glaus, who is hitting .333 with two homers and five RBIs in eight games this year, has been sidelined with a bone spur in his left heel since April 12, when the injury forced him to prematurely leave Toronto's game against Detroit. Ricciardi said that Glaus experiences the most discomfort when running, and it's a problem that isn't likely to go away any time soon.
"I dont think he's ever going to be pain-free until the year gets over," Ricciardi said. "He's day-to-day, though -- literally. We'll see. If he feels like he can go [on Saturday], he'll go. He's just got to get used to running around again."
Glaus, who led Toronto with 38 homers in 2006, joined the team in New York on Wednesday for its series against the Yankees. On his first day back with the Jays, Glaus took batting practice indoors due to the rainy conditions and played catch on the field. He did more work on the diamond on Thursday, but he displayed a noticeable limp throughout the drills.
"It gets to the point where you hope he can get rid of it," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "But it may kick up on him at times through the rest of the year. We'll just have to deal with that."
Welcome back: Frank Catalanotto turned out to be right. Prior to Friday's game at Rogers Centre, the Texas outfielder (and former Blue Jay) was asked how he thought the Toronto fans would react in his first at-bat of the night.
"I'm assuming there won't be boos, well, I'm hoping there won't be boos," Catalanotto said with a laugh. "I'm sure it'll be a nice reception. I don't think it'll be a Carlos Delgado reception. I think I might get a couple claps -- hopefully."
As Catalanotto strolled into the batter's box in the second inning, many fans inside the ballpark rose to their feet and gave the outfielder a warm reception. Catalanotto spent the 2003-06 seasons with the Jays, and he is making his first appearance in Toronto since signing a three-year deal with the Rangers.
"It'll be strange looking at him over there on the other side," Gibbons said.
Entering Friday, Catalanotto -- a career .295 hitter -- had just a .154 average through 15 games with the Rangers. Besides the April slump, Catalanotto has enjoyed suiting up for Texas, which he also played for from 2000-02.
"It's been obviously a slow month for me," Catalanotto said. "In that regard, it's been a struggle. Other than that, it's a great group of guys and I'm familiar with the ballpark there and the city. [The transition] has gone pretty well."
Lining things up: Gibbons hasn't completely decided how he's going to alter the lineup when Glaus is back in the equation. Toronto's manager likes using rookie left fielder Adam Lind in the No. 2 spot, which means first baseman Lyle Overbay will likely remain in the fifth or sixth spot of the order. Gibbons said he's contemplating having Overbay bat fifth and pushing Glaus into the No. 6 hole.
Fasano on deck: Blue Jays catcher Sal Fasano, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Syracuse after Gregg Zaun broke his right hand on Tuesday, is expected to make his first start for Toronto on Saturday. Jason Phillips started Friday night's game against Texas, but Fasano will get the nod in the second tilt of the four-game set, which is an afternoon contest.
Leaders of the pack: Entering Friday, the Blue Jays led the American League in batting average (.278), hits (204), doubles (55) and slugging percentage (.441). In Toronto's past three games -- all wins -- center fielder Vernon Wells and designated hitter Frank Thomas have combined to hit .583 with two homers and 11 RBIs.
Quotable: "It was nice being out there on the field that I've been so familiar with the past four years and seeing some of the guys. It brought back some good memories." -- Catalanotto, on being back in Toronto
Coming up: Toronto left-hander Gustavo Chacin (2-1, 5.32 ERA) is scheduled to take the hill when the Blue Jays host the Rangers at 1:07 p.m. ET on Saturday at Rogers Centre. Texas will counter with righty Kevin Millwood (2-3, 5.46 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.