TORONTO -- Right-hander Jason Frasor is expected to get back on a mound early early next week.
Frasor hasn't pitched since July 16 when he was shut down with tightness in his right forearm. He has been on a long-toss program out to 120 feet and after three more sessions will likely be cleared to start working off a mound.
"There's not an exact return date yet but [he] feels good about himself, his arm has had no issues as far as the work he has been undergoing and is in good shape," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the veteran reliever who has a 4.00 ERA in 42 games this year.
The news isn't as positive for designated hitter for Adam Lind, who was shut down in late July with soreness in his mid-back. The injury was originally expected to keep Lind out for just 15 days but the pain has not subsided and as a result his baseball activities continue to be limited.
"Lind has been still swinging off a tee and taking some soft toss," Farrell said. "So, that's a little bit slower than first anticipated."
David Cooper has done a relatively solid job filling in during Lind's absence. Cooper has seven extra-base hits in 15 games since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and has found a way to come through in timely situations. He entered play on Wednesday night hitting .415 (17-for-41) with three doubles and three homers from the seventh inning on.
Rasmus eases back into lineup as DH
TORONTO -- Colby Rasmus made his return to the Blue Jays lineup on Wednesday night after missing the previous four games because of a strained right groin.
Rasmus got the start at designated hitter, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in the 9-5 loss against Chicago, and is expected to stay away from defensive duties in center field until he has more time to fully recover.
The hope is that easing Rasmus back into the starting nine will help him avoid aggravating the groin area where soreness has lingered all month.
"He's good to go and we're gradually getting him back in," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "On this turf, as aggressive as his breaks and reads are in the outfield, we all came to the agreement, 'Let's put the bat back in your hand, DH, see how you get out of the box, run the bases.'
"Rather than throwing him into a more full workload, felt like this is probably the best way to go given that he aggravated it, sat out a couple of days, felt it again. We'll slowly work him back in there."
Rasmus' start in the DH slot forced Farrell to get a little creative with his lineup in order to accommodate Edwin Encarnacion and David Cooper. Encarnacion and Cooper typically split time at first base/DH and have been the club's most reliable hitters in recent weeks.
To avoid sitting either player, Farrell opted to give Encarnacion a rare start in left field. It's the first time since early June that Encarnacion played left and just the second time in his career.
Encarnacion hasn't exactly spent a lot of time working out at the position, either, but since this is a short-term solution, there doesn't seem to be much concern on the club's behalf.
"I know it has been two months since he played in Atlanta -- if he didn't feel comfortable, we wouldn't go this path," Farrell said. "But he feels like he can get out there for a short look."Encarnacion nearly made a spectacular diving catch in the third inning, but the ball fell from his glove when he hit the ground and two runs scored.
Torrealba to split time behind the plate
TORONTO -- Veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba is expected to join the Blue Jays when they travel to Detroit on Tuesday.
Toronto signed Torrealba to a Minor League contract on Tuesday and assigned him to Double-A New Hampshire. The plan all along was to bring him up to the big league club but since Torrealba hasn't played since July 27 there was a need to get him some Minor League at-bats.
"To get him some timing, he'll probably DH and catch while at New Hampshire just to get the at-bats and then right now projects to meet us in Detroit," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
"The one thing that we've communicated to Yorvit, is that there would be a time split when he comes here. I don't have on a game calendar the exact games he's going to catch but we'll look to split it up."
Torrealba will share the catching duties with veteran Jeff Mathis until starter J.P. Arencibia returns from a fractured right hand. Arencibia had his cast removed on Wednesday but will need to go through a lengthy rehab until he is ready to return to the big league club.
"He has been placed in a soft cast," Farrell said. "We'll go through a week of strengthening right now. The X-rays did show that there is obvious healing to the fracture he sustained and after a week of strengthening we'll look to get a bat in his hands and look to do some low-level dry swings to start that movement again."