06/07/12 8:23 PM ET
Encarnacion likely to return on Friday
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Encarnacion has been out of action since he was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Boston right-hander Daniel Bard on Sunday afternoon.
The 29-year-old swung a bat on Thursday for the first time since the incident and the reports came back positive. Encarnacion hit off a tee and via soft toss, which is the first step in getting back onto the field.
"You're able to see a little bit more definition in the hand," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "The strength has improved over yesterday. As the swelling has gone down, the increase in strength is there and we fully expect him to be in the lineup tomorrow."
Encarnacion has spent a lot of his time at designated hitter this season, but with Toronto opening a three-game Interleague series at Atlanta, he will take over duties at first base.
The Dominican native is hitting .279 with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs in 54 games this season. He also has a .348 on-base percentage, 10 doubles and a .926 OPS.
Snider, Santos making progress
CHICAGO -- Left fielder Travis Snider took another step forward in his rehab from a jammed right wrist by starting his rehab with Class A Dunedin on Thursday night.
Snider, who is currently on the seven-day disabled list for Triple-A Las Vegas, hadn't played in an official game since May 17.
The 24-year-old had been working out at extended spring training, where on Wednesday he went 2-for-4 in an exhibition game. He is now taking the next step and appears to be on the way to a full recovery.
"He's felt no ill effects of the wrist," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He'll now join Dunedin for the remainder of this week and get at-bats there before either the next move is made, wherever that is, whether it's a return to Vegas or wherever that might be.
"But the most important thing is he's got no issues going on, he's swinging the bat well and [it's] very encouraging."
Toronto closer Sergio Santos is also easing his way back. Santos has been out since April 21 with inflammation in his right shoulder, but he threw off a mound on Wednesday for the third time since suffering the injury in Kansas City.
"It will be determined whether he takes live BP his next outing or needs to get back onto the mound without hitters," Farrell said. "But it has been fastball-changeup, 25-30 pitches per bullpen, increasing intensity with each one. We're moving along the program. "
Santos has yet to resume throwing a slider, which is arguably his best pitch. The Blue Jays won't initiate that part of the program until more arm strength has been built up.
Blue Jays recall Beck, option Coello
CHICAGO -- The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Chad Beck from Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, and in a corresponding move, optioned Robert Coello to the Minor Leagues.
Coello hadn't appeared in a game since June 1 against Boston, and it was the long layoff in between outings that forced the Blue Jays into making a move, according to manager John Farrell.
"The fact that it has been six, seven days since he has been in a game, we wanted to get a more recent usage of a guy and we were confident in Beck coming up here," Farrell said. "As I mentioned to Robert, it wasn't anything that he did or didn't do, we just felt like the change to get a guy who has been used more recently was a need at the moment."
Beck has spent most of this season as the closer for Triple-A Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League. He went 1-0 with a 1.11 ERA and nine saves in 24 1/3 innings.
The 27-year-old was promoted to the Major Leagues earlier this year, but he did not get into a game during his brief stint.
Davis out of lineup with jammed middle finger
CHICAGO -- Left fielder Rajai Davis was a late scratch from the Blue Jays' lineup on Thursday because of a jammed middle finger on his left hand.
Davis originally was expected to start, but approximately one hour before the game, he was removed from the lineup. It was not immediately clear how he suffered the injury.
Utilityman Mike McCoy got the start in left field and assumed Davis' No. 9 spot in the batting order. McCoy had yet to appear in a game since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this month.
McCoy is a career .194 hitter in parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues. He has two home runs and 13 RBIs in 284 at-bats, while having the ability to play at every position except catcher and first base.