TORONTO -- Infielder John McDonald, who went on the 15-day disabled list on May 28 with a strained right hamstring, was 1-for-4 with Class A Dunedin on Wednesday and appears set to be activated from the disabled list, likely on Friday.
"[He had] a very good seven innings, beat out an infield hit," manager John Farrell said before Thursday's game against Baltimore. "He played with no issues in the field. He was aggressive in all ways. I actually talked to him late last night, so we're hopeful he's on track for this road trip."
The plan is for McDonald to play nine innings on Thursday for Dunedin and then join the Blue Jays in Cincinnati, where Toronto opens a nine-game Interleague trip that also includes series with Atlanta and St. Louis.
When McDonald joins the team, the Blue Jays plan to drop a pitcher from their eight-man bullpen, at least for the games in National League cities.
"We feel like we need the extra position player," Farrell said. "We need to have a little bit of speed on the bench. We need to have some versatility when we get into pinch-hit situations, whether or not the game presents a double-switch situation. We need that flexibility."
Sore forearm lands Janssen on DL
TORONTO -- Right-handed reliever Casey Janssen was put on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a sore right forearm.
Janssen had been dealing with some soreness in the forearm recently but was able to pitch.
Janssen will not be replaced by another pitcher, but the move will open up a spot for the return of infielder John McDonald from the disabled list, where he had been since May 28 with a right hamstring strain. Toronto had been carrying eight relievers.
"It wasn't getting any worse or better," Janssen said after Thursday's 4-3 loss to Baltimore. "Sometimes it was just a little more difficult to get loose. The other night, it kind of caught up with me a little bit. I let them know, and this was kind of the next step. I'll have an MRI tomorrow and take a couple of days off. Hopefully, it's not a long thing and I'll get back quick. This is new to me. It's just a little different."
"[Wednesday] was the first night that he came forward to the point of where he could feel a little bit more in his forearm," manager John Farrell said. "Prior to that, as we check with all of our relievers, he felt like he was able to pitch through it.
"There was no reduction in overall stuff or performance. And yet he felt it a little, but [he felt it] more [Wednesday] night warming up. He will report to Florida tomorrow. He will go through our normal protocol for any pitcher in this case, where there's an MRI just to rule out anything, but any medical tests in the training room have not revealed any ligament issues at this point."
Janssen is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 28 games this season.
Molina ejected for arguing strike call
TORONTO -- Toronto Blue Jays catcher Jose Molina helped right-hander Zach Stewart through his impressive big league debut on Thursday before being ejected in the bottom of the seventh for arguing a called third strike.
J.P. Arencibia took his place behind the plate. Manager John Farrell also came out to talk to umpire Bob Davidson but stayed in the game.
Stewart said that Molina was a big help to him.
"He was great," Stewart said. "He came out and talked me through a lot of situations. We just worked our way through them and it turned out good."
Lind to hold down the fort at first base
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' nine-game trip to three National League cities probably means that Adam Lind will play most, if not all, of the games at first base.
Since coming off the disabled list with lower back tightness on June 4, Lind has alternated between first base and designated hitter with Juan Rivera.
Lind did play first base in consecutive games against the Red Sox recently, and there were no problems with his back.
"He came out of the back-to-back days against the Red Sox fine," manager John Farrell said before Thursday's game against Baltimore. "At least having that back-to-back already under his belt, we at least feel a little more at ease going with him at first base regularly.
"One thing we have to do is make sure we get Juan Rivera on the field. We can play him in left field in Cincinnati or St. Louis. Depending on the matchups, we could see Corey Patterson in center field on a given day. We've got some versatility there.
"The way Juan has swung the bat, he's done a good job. On [Wednesday], he had three hits, and we want to make sure that we don't let that momentum kind of stagnate and continue on."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.