03/29/2013 8:20 PM ET
Encarnacion back in lineup at full health
By Mike Radano / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- On Thursday, Edwin Encarnacion returned to the Blue Jays' lineup.
Even more to the point, Encarnacion was again in the lineup Friday at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies in the first of two games for the On-Deck Series. His return from a sprained right index finger, which he sustained in the World Baseball Classic, solidifies a potent lineup that has Toronto thinking about its first return to the playoffs since 1993.
"He's one of the key guys for this team," manager John Gibbons said. "He had a huge year last year and if you look at the lineup, we have some guys ahead of him that can get on base and score some runs.
"The key to any team is having more than just one guy in the middle. Otherwise, that one guy can be really dangerous and you can be careful. You can't do that with him in there."
Hitting fourth behind Jose Bautista, Encanacion hit .280 last season with 42 home runs and 110 RBIs.
Gibbons keeping options open in bullpen
PHILADELPHIA -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons sat back in his chair and admitted that much like the day before, he probably wasn't prepared to assign bullpen roles just yet.
"I didn't answer that yesterday and you're probably not going to get one now," Gibbons said with a smile. "The score of the game will dictate that. You know you have some options."
Granted, part of the issue remains closer Casey Janssen, who will have one final Minor League appearance on Sunday in Florida before joining the team for Tuesday's Opening Day game against Cleveland at 7:07 p.m. ET. Janssen had 22 saves a year ago and looks to be ready to go after having right shoulder surgery this past offseason. With his return, everything else will slowly fall back into place.
"We're going conscious with Janssen," Gibbons said. "We're not going to abuse him early. We'll abuse him late. So we're going to need other guys to step up. The key is the rotation, which we figure will eat up a lot of innings and that will keep the [bullpen fresh]."
Gibbons pointed to Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos as options until Janssen is locked in to that closer role.
Blue Jays claim Burnett, Robinson off waivers
PHILADELPHIA -- The Blue Jays on Friday claimed right-hander Alex Burnett off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and first baseman Clint Robinson from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Burnett has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, while Robinson has been optioned to Double-A New Hampshire. Burnett appeared in 67 games for the Twins in 2012, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.52 ERA.
Robinson made his Major League debut last season with Kansas City, appearing in four games and going 0-for-4 in four pinch-hit appearances. To make room on the 40-man roster, Lars Anderson has been designated for assignment.
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.