09/18/11 6:00 PM ET
Thames OK after foul ball hits eye
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Thames swung at a 2-2 pitch from Scott Proctor and the ball ricocheted off the bat directly into his face. The impact sliced open the outfielder's eyelid but vision tests came back normal. Thames is currently listed as day to day.
"That's kind of a scary moment," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "At first, you thought it hit him in the helmet, to take the helmet off, but it was a direct blow to the eye and then caromed to the visor and took it off.
"But I think, right now, he's fortunate that the laceration is the only thing that is sustained."
Thames wanted to remain in the game but Farrell and the club's medical staff noticed the area around the eye was starting to become swollen. He was taken out of the game to undergo further examinations and rule out a possible concussion.
The 24-year-old rookie spoke to reporters after Toronto's 3-0 victory with a noticeable cut that started on his eyelid and extended just below his left eyebrow. The injury did not require stitches, and Thames thinks he'll be fine moving forward.
"I think it looks worse than it actually is," Thames said. "Tomorrow we'll see if it's swelling and what not, but it should be OK.
"I got away with it. I'm lucky."
Thames is batting .259 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 85 games this season.
No timetable set for Escobar's return
TORONTO -- Yunel Escobar still hasn't been able to resume baseball activities because of an injured left elbow.
Escobar suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch during a game on Sept. 10 against the Orioles. He has missed six consecutive games, including Sunday's finale with the Yankees, and there is no immediate timetable for his return.
"The swelling came back a little bit more yesterday," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said on Sunday morning. "He had another follow-up X-ray, there was no structural issues there. He's banged up."
The Blue Jays originally expected Escobar to miss just a couple of games but the injury hasn't healed as hoped. The native of Cuba has been put through the appropriate tests and the elbow didn't respond favorably, which has kept him away from on-field activity.
"The range-of-motion exercises and maintenance that he's going through are passive," Farrell said. "We're dealing with something that is legit here. It's not that he's not wanting to get back on the field, or not wanting to go through the work to get there, it's just that he's restricted right now."
Farrell all but ruled out the possibility of top prospect Adeiny Hechavarria being promoted to the Major Leagues in Escobar's absence. Hechavarria hasn't played since his Triple-A Las Vegas club had its season come to an end on Sept. 5.
Hechavarria would need three to five days of baseball-related activities before being able to return. He will head to the Arizona Fall League later this year, but is not considered a serious candidate for a promotion because of the lack of recent activity.
Infielder Jonathan Diaz is one candidate who could be called up from Double-A New Hampshire. The Fisher Cats ended their season on Saturday by winning the Eastern League championship, and the utility man could receive the promotion if Escobar's injury does not improve.
For now, the Blue Jays can take solace in the fact that Escobar does not appear to have a major injury, and the club remains optimistic the elbow will improve even though there is less than two weeks remaining in the season.
"It's clearly the fluid that's in there because the MRI has not shown structural damage, the follow-up X-rays have not shown any cracks or fractures of any kind," Farrell said. "He's just dealing with a legitimate issue right here."
Escobar is batting .290 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs in 133 games this season.
Drabek impresses with scoreless relief
TORONTO -- Right-hander Kyle Drabek earned the praise of his coaching staff with a scoreless two innings of work during Saturday's game against the Yankees.
Drabek, who began the year in the starting rotation, has been pitching out of the bullpen since being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sept. 7.
The 23-year-old didn't allow a hit and walked just one batter against the Yankees on Saturday.
"An aggressive overall approach," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Drabek, who struck out three. "He threw curveballs for strikes, he threw curveballs to finish guys off.
"In shorter stints, the body language presents that he's not trying to manage through six or seven innings, he's attacking the strike zone and really just a more simplistic approach of attacking and letting his stuff play."
The Blue Jays felt having Drabek finish the year in Toronto was important after struggling for most of the season. He posted a 5.70 ERA in 14 starts this season with the Blue Jays and then proceeded to go 5-4 with a 7.44 ERA in Triple-A.
The move to the bullpen seems to have accomplished the turnaround, but Farrell said it's still possible that Drabek will get a start before the end of the season.
"It hinges on the physical status of other guys in the rotation," Farrell said. "If a guy needs a blow, and he's stretched out enough, we have that option available to us. But when we set out to view September, part of it was to finish on a positive note for Kyle, and that's in the making right now."
Molina available on Sunday if needed
TORONTO -- Jose Molina was available to play on Sunday afternoon after being struck by a foul tip the day before.
Toronto's backup catcher had a ball ricochet off his left arm during the seventh inning of Saturday's game against the Yankees. He was removed from the game later in the frame but the ensuing X-rays came back negative.
"He's OK," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He swung the bat a little bit ... he's sore but he's available."
Molina, who is a free agent at the end of the season, entered Sunday batting .293 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 50 games this season.
Left-hander Brett Cecil has been cleared to start on Tuesday against the Angels. Cecil was scratched from his scheduled outing on Friday after cutting his left index finger while cleaning a blender in Boston.
"He threw a side [session] yesterday and everything checked out OK, so he's on tap to start," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Infielder Jonathan Diaz is a possibility to be promoted by the Blue Jays this week, but other than that Farrell doesn't expect any more September callups.
Double-A New Hampshire wrapped up its season on Saturday night by winning the Eastern League championship against Richmond. There had been some talk that Moises Sierra could receive a promotion, but that does not appear to be the case.
"I think we're going to stay as is," Farrell said. "It was a great year for them. Sal [Fasano] obviously had a good group of players to work with, but a great job by the entire staff there and our congratulations go out to their championship."