05/04/2013 2:20 PM ET
Amid offensive struggles, Gibbons sees improvement
By Evan Peaslee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Three runs in four games won't win a lot of ballgames.
Sure enough, the Blue Jays find themselves in the midst of a four-game losing streak and saddled with an offense stuck in a rut.
However, manager John Gibbons has seen improvement on the offensive front since the beginning of the season.
"I think it's gotten better," said Gibbons about the team's offensive approach. "[However], I think a little more discipline at certain times would help us."
That discipline has certainly cost the Blue Jays when it's come to scoring runs. They've struck out 244 times, fifth-most in the Majors prior to Saturday's game. The club is also among the league leaders in striking out with men in scoring position, doing so 26 percent of the time in such spots.
As a result, the Blue Jays' offense has been feast or famine all year.
"That's frustrating," Gibbons said. "We haven't put together any stretch of games where we've come out and pounded it from top to bottom, for any length of time. We're built that way, it just hasn't happened yet."
There's been an expectation as the days continue to fall off the calendar that at some point this offense, that was among the league leaders until Jose Bautista's injury in the middle of last season, would erupt. But, like its fans, the players and manager are still waiting.
"Until it does, I can talk all I want," Gibbons said. "Deep down, there's too much there for it not to explode sooner or later."
Sore Melky starts at DH on Saturday
TORONTO -- Melky Cabrera is dealing with soreness in his legs and started at designated hitter Saturday against the Mariners.
"His legs have been bothering him a little bit. It's affecting him right now," manager John Gibbons said. "It's not anything you need to keep off the field, but he's a little beat up."
Gibbons couldn't provide any further explanation of the injury. It's not a muscle pull or a strain, just soreness.
"I don't think it's anything … just sore," Gibbons said.
As a result, Rajai Davis started in left field with R.A. Dickey on the mound for the Blue Jays.
"You figure it's going to be a low-scoring game with Dickey and Hisashi Iwakuma out there, so defense can be a premium and Raj gives you a lot of range out there," Gibbons said.
It was a rare start for Davis with a righty on the mound, as Gibbons would prefer to have him start against left-handers.
The speedy 32-year-old outfielder has hit only .225 against right-handers, compared to .364 against lefties this season. Davis also leads the team in average at .274, minus the injured Jose Reyes, admittedly in limited at-bats.
Cabrera has struggled at the plate recently, hitting .159 and going 7-for-44 in his past 11 games. He hasn't hit an extra-base hit since Apr. 23, and only has three all season.
Part of the reason may be Cabrera's sore legs. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be anything serious and it isn't believed to be the result of playing on the artifical turf at Rogers Centre.
"It's early in the season, I wouldn't think that would be a major thing," Gibbons said.
Despite swelling, Romero should make next start
TORONTO -- Ricky Romero left Friday's game against the Mariners early after being struck by a ball on the forearm of his throwing arm in the fourth inning against the Mariners. The Blue Jays' left-hander did finish the frame, but did not come out to start the fifth.
"It's a little stiff right now," Romero said after Friday's contest. "It hit me in a really good spot. It got a little swollen. Hopefully, it's just a little minor contusion, and we'll be able to play catch tomorrow."
Despite sporting a bandage on his left arm after the game, X-ray results were negative. However, Romero did have visible swelling on his forearm Saturday morning.
The 28-year-old, however, was able to throw on Saturday with the swelling, and should be fine to make his next scheduled start at Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
That, however, puts Toronto in a unique situation. Not only would the Blue Jays be carrying three left-handed starters in their rotation, they would all be pitching on consecutive days.
Despite this unusual circumstance, there is no plan for Gibbons to alter his rotation. The Blue Jays do have an off-day on May 13, and that will likely be the first opportunity for Toronto to switch up its starters if Gibbons feels it's warranted.
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.