Barajas to test right hamstring Monday
Jays catcher may go on DL if he's unable to run without pain
TORONTO -- Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas expects to know by Monday whether or not he will need to go on the disabled list because of his strained right hamstring.
On Sunday, the catcher said he would test the hamstring Monday and make a decision based on whether he's able to run without discomfort.
Barajas left Friday's 6-1 loss against the Reds in the second inning after tweaking his hamstring while running to first base. The Jays planned to put him on the 15-day disabled list, but did not file the paperwork with the league, and decided not to shelve Barajas after the catcher said he felt better Saturday.
"I got the treatment done right after the game, and I was surprised at the lack of discomfort I felt when I just walked," Barajas said Sunday. "I've pulled a hamstring before and walking is uncomfortable."
"I came in [Saturday] and I felt pretty good again. It didn't get any worse, so if we can give it a couple of days and see how it responds, maybe run around [Monday] and if I'm able to run, then I don't think we need the disabled list route."
Barajas added that the hamstring issue does not affect his ability to catch or swing the bat. That's why the Jays have not placed him on the DL, which would make room for another catcher on the roster, but make Barajas ineligible to play for 15 days. Backup Raul Chavez is taking over the starting job while Barajas heals and is available off the bench.
"The catching part is not an issue. Catching is no problem. I can move side to side, I can get up and out of my crouch," Barajas said. "The big reason why we were able to wait and not make the move right away is because I'm able to catch. If something happens [to Chavez], I can go in and catch with no discomfort whatsoever and be fine with it. That's not the issue. Swinging the bat's not the issue. Batting practice -- it doesn't bother me when I swing."
Barajas has done some jogging, but has avoided running so far.
"Just slow jogging, and with the slow jogging I don't feel any discomfort," Barajas said. "If we need to make a decision by [Monday], I want to give up until [Monday] to rest, and [Monday] we'll push it a little bit and see if it's good to go."
The Jays have not told Barajas to make a decision by Monday, but the catcher feels he owes it to Chavez, who is not used to playing every day.
"I think that's kind of the fair thing to do," Barajas said. "I don't want to have Chavy go out there every single day and maybe risk hurting him, because it's something he hasn't been doing for a while.
"If I'm not able to run by [Monday], I think it might be smart to do something different."
If Barajas lands on the DL, Toronto would likely call up either Kyle Phillips or Michael Barrett. Phillips, a catcher at Triple-A Las Vegas, was slated to join the Jays when the club planned to put Barajas on the DL on Saturday.
Barrett has not played with the Jays since mid-April, when he injured his right shoulder. He is now with Triple-A Las Vegas on a rehab assignment. Toronto planned to call up Phillips instead of Barrett because the club felt Barrett needed more at-bats before he would be ready to return to the Majors. Since Barrett has had a few more days to play since Friday, he might be ready to the join the team if Barajas is placed on the DL.
Erika Gilbert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.