TORONTO -- Starting pitching is the Blue Jays' biggest need heading into the offseason, a point manager John Farrell continues to reiterate.
But the skipper would also like some help on the offensive end, too. Farrell is interested in a high-average, line-drive type hitter who doesn't strike out a lot.
He believes the team is adequate in terms of power, but getting another hitter that hits for more contact and has a high on-base percentage -- one of the stats Farrell values most -- would be ideal.
"I think any time you can lengthen out a lineup and upgrade, that's a plus," Farrell said. "Home runs, we have a number of guys that can drive the ball out of the ballpark."
The Blue Jays had the second-lowest on-base percentage in the American League, behind only the Mariners, and the club's .246 average entering play Tuesday was the fourth lowest mark in the AL.
Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are the only two regulars that have an on-base percentage above .330 -- league average was .321 last season -- and three of the Blue Jays' starting players, catcher J.P. Arencibia, center fielder Colby Rasmus and shortstop Yunel Escobar, are below the .300 mark.
Encarnacion misses third straight game
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion was held out of the Blue Jays' lineup for the third straight game with tightness in his trapezius muscle.
The slugger was lifted from Sunday's contest against the Yankees in the seventh inning and hasn't played since, but the team has yet to determine whether he will sit the final game of the season on Wednesday.
Manager John Farrell said Encarnacion feels the greatest amount of soreness in the area when he follows through on his swing.
"We will reevaluate him tomorrow. I can't give you a percentage of [whether] he will be in the lineup tomorrow or not," Farrell said.
Encarnacion has set career highs at the plate with 42 homers and 110 RBIs, with a .557 slugging percentage and .941 OPS, while splitting time at first base and designated hitter.
"He has, I think, performed his way and improved at that position to become a very good first baseman." Farrell said.
Farrell expects coaching staff to remain intact
TORONTO -- Manager John Farrell expects to have his full coaching staff from this season back for 2013.
"Nothing suggests right now that changes will be made," Farrell said.
Farrell has been holding one-on-one meetings with each coach as the season comes to and end, as he has done with each player.
"It's important that they know before leaving what their status is," Farrell said.
Chad Mottola is one coach who has been up for September, but is not guaranteed to be back in Toronto next season, despite rumors that came out earlier in the season.
Mottola is the hitting coach of Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, which will be based out of Buffalo in 2013, and joined the Blue Jays for the final month of the season for the second year in a row. There was talk earlier in the year that the Blue Jays may use to two batting coaches next season, but Farrell said that was simply a concept that was discussed and something that was blown out of proportion.
"Not to take anything away from Chad, he is a very effective coach, has a very good rapport with people and he has a track record with the guys he has been with. He has done a very good job and made a positive impact on them," Farrell said.
Dwayne Murphy is Toronto's batting coach and someone Mottola thinks highly of. Mottola said he has a great relationship with Murphy and has been able to learn new things by working with him.
Mottola thinks it can be good for a player to have two different voices to hear from because each hitting coach can offer a different perspective into the player's swing and mechanics.
"In this game over 162, things get stale with a player at times," Mottola said. "There is no ego from my end and Murphy has always been so open to that, too. We just want the player to get better."
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.