Players endorse plan to play in Philly
Wells: moving three-game series out of Toronto was wise move
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays held a closed-door meeting prior to Tuesday's game at Fenway Park to discuss the announcement that the club would be moving its June 25-27 series against the Phillies from Toronto to Philadelphia.
Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells, who serves as the team's union rep, said that the news did not come as a surprise. Wells had been looped in on discussions about the series relocation, which was deemed necessary due the G20 Summit being held in Toronto on the same weekend.
"Everybody had input into it," Wells said. "When you're talking about security concerns -- obviously our families are there, the potential of something going wrong, whatever that may be, it's a wise choice to move it."
The three-game Interleague series will now be held at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, though the teams will play under American League rules. The designated hitter will be utilized and the Blue Jays will remain the home team and have the last at-bat. Wells said that does not mean it will feel at all like a home game.
"Of course not," Wells said. "You're playing in Philly, where obviously they have some of the most passionate fans in all of sports. We will be hated, as we are normally when we go there. But it's a good place to hit and we've played well on the road so far."
The three road games will now provide the first leg of a three-city trip that will follow with stops in Cleveland and New York. Wells confirmed that the Blue Jays and Phillies discussed shifting the June 25-27 series to Cleveland's Progressive Field in order to find a neutral site for the clubs.
"We covered everything we could," Wells said. "We even talked about possibly moving it to Cleveland, but then we'd be in Cleveland for a week, and that'd be interesting. I don't think anybody in here minds it [being in Philadelphia]. It's just another three days on the road.
"We've been talking about it for a couple months now, obviously knowing what the situation is going to be. When you're having that kind of meeting in the city, just a block away from the ballpark, it has to be discussed. I think it was the right choice."
Blue Jays in no rush to promote Wallace
BOSTON -- Heading into this season, Minor League first baseman Brett Wallace was informed that he would likely remain at Triple-A Las Vegas all season. Even in light of Lyle Overbay's struggles with the Blue Jays, general manager Alex Anthopoulos does not see the situation changing anytime soon.
"I wouldn't expect it to," Anthopoulos said on Tuesday at Fenway Park. "I told Brett the plan is for him to be in Vegas the entire year. Obviously, things can always change, but we don't want him looking at the box scores or trying to hit five home runs in a game to force our hand."
Wallace -- acquired from Oakland as part of the series of trades that sent ace Roy Halladay to the Phillies -- was hitting .295 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs through 32 games with Triple-A Vegas. The left-handed-hitting first baseman also boasted a .400 average against left-handed pitching.
Wallace's early success is not causing Anthopoulos to reconsider his initial plan for the young prospect.
"Not necessarily," Anthopoulos said. "We're thrilled with the way he's playing. He hit his 10th home run last night. We want him to continue to get acclimated to first base, continue to work on his defensive game. That's a big component. We'd like to get all of his development done. He's never had an issue swinging the bat."
As for Overbay, who has hit .172 through 33 games for the Blue Jays this season, Anthopoulos believes a turnaround is coming. Overbay is eligible for free agency after this season, and Toronto still intends on playing him on a regular basis, even with Wallace -- deemed the first baseman of the future -- hitting so well in the Minors.
"We think Lyle's a good player," Anthopoulos said. "I think what you're seeing now is not the true Lyle Overbay. I think he's certainly capable of more, and Lyle will be the first one to tell you so. I don't see a scenario right now that Lyle continues to swing the bat the way he is. I think he's going to come out of it."
Anthopoulos praises catching tandem
BOSTON -- Blue Jays catchers John Buck and Jose Molina have taken some heat for their defense this season, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos was quick to praise the work of the veterans on Tuesday.
"I know a lot's been written about passed balls and things like that," Anthopoulos said. "It's one of those things where both guys, for the most part, have done a very good job. We were excited about acquiring them, as they do a very good job calling a game. I think with as young a rotation as we have, I think it's a credit to them, as well as the starters, how well some of these guys have gone out and performed."
Asked about the high volume of wild pitches thrown by Toronto pitchers this season -- Ricky Romero leads baseball with 12 through seven starts -- Anthopoulos echoed manager Cito Gaston's remarks from one day earlier.
"You know what, [Romero's] stuff is incredible," said Anthopoulos, steering blame away from the catchers. "I mean, you look at it, it sinks, it cuts, it moves -- the curveball, the slider -- his stuff just seems to be getting better and better."
Encarnacion nearing return to action
BOSTON -- General manager Alex Anthopoulos indicated on Tuesday that third baseman Edwin Encarnacion could be ready to rejoin the Blue Jays within the next two weeks. Encarnacion is currently on the disabled list recovering from a sore right shoulder.
When Encarnacion was placed on 15-day DL, Jose Bautista shifted from right field to third base, and Fred Lewis and Travis Snider moved to left and right field, respectively. It is not clear how Toronto will handle Encarnacion's return. Anthopoulos was not ready to say whether Encarnacion would immediately move back into a starting role at third.
"Right now, we haven't even talked about it," Anthopoulos said. "The team's playing so well. Bautista's done a good job, Fred Lewis has done a good job. It's one of those things, you cross that bridge when you come to it. The team's playing well. It's a great problem to have."
Encarnacion is currently playing third base in extended spring games and he will likely begin playing Minor League rehab games with Class A Dunedin soon. Like Encarnacion, Anthopoulos said that injured pitchers Marc Rzepczynski (left hand) and Brian Tallet (left forearm) could be ready to be activated within the next two weeks.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.