7/29/2013 10:38 P.M. ET
Blue Jays Minor Leaguer Van Kirk suspended
By Gregor Chisholm and Paul Casella / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Double-A New Hampshire outfielder Brian Van Kirk received a 50-game suspension on Monday for a second violation of the Minor League drug prevention and treatment program.
Kirk tested positive for a drug of abuse and will now be forced to miss the rest of the season. His suspension goes into effect immediately and also will carry over into the beginning of next year.
The 27-year-old was hitting .278 with two homers, 29 RBIs and had a .412 on-base percentage at the time of his suspension. He spent each of the past two seasons in New Hampshire but didn't appear to have much of a future with the organization.
Van Kirk was originally taken in the 21st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He becomes the second Blue Jays' Minor Leaguer to test positive for a banned substance in the past two years after right-hander Marcus Stroman violated the drug policy in 2012.
Blue Jays think Melky will avoid suspension
OAKLAND -- Major League Baseball could be on the verge of suspending more players for their ties to the now-defunct Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami, but the Blue Jays don't feel left fielder Melky Cabrera is at risk for further punishment.
Cabrera was suspended for 50 games last season while with San Francisco after a test revealed he had elevated levels of testosterone in his system. Since then, multiple reports have connected Cabrera to the clinic, which allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to ballplayers.
That would be a major cause for concern but in Cabrera's case, the Blue Jays think it's likely in reference to a past crime for which he already has been punished. That should be enough to keep Cabrera in the clear, according to Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
"We don't think anything's going to happen, he served his penalty last year," said Gibbons, who added the club hasn't thought about a Plan B if Cabrera were suspended. "Major League Baseball is handling all that, so we don't know. But we think, since he served his time, it's over with. I haven't given it much thought and the GM hasn't talked much about it."
Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun was recently suspended by Major League Baseball for his association with Biogenesis. Braun is suspended for the rest of the season while other media reports have indicated that New York's Alex Rodriguez could be next in line for a suspension.
Other names are expected to surface in the coming days, but Gibbons said he hasn't noticed the case taking a toll on Cabrera. Toronto's starting outfielder had to deal with his past misdeeds during a road trip to San Francisco earlier in the season but has since put everything behind him.
There's still no official word from MLB on whether Cabrera could face an additional suspension.
"Melky doesn't say a whole lot," Gibbons said. "I mean, we get along great. In passing we'll talk, but he doesn't say a whole heck of a lot."
Cabrera entered play on Monday night hitting .284 with three home runs and 30 RBIs in 85 games this season. He returned early last week after missing almost a month because of soreness in his legs.
Edwin's stellar stretch lands Player of Week honor
Edwin Encarnacion's blistering performance at the plate last week has earned the Blue Jays slugger American League Player of the Week honors.
Encarnacion turned in three multihit games and an AL-best .520 (13-for-25) batting average en route to his third career weekly honor and second with the Blue Jays. He also won a weekly award with Toronto in 2010 and once took home National League Player of the Week honors as a member of the Reds in 2006.
He earned his most recent award by leading the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, hits and total bases last week, while finishing second in slugging percentage and RBIs.
Encarnacion started his week with a three-hit effort against the Dodgers. He matched that output later in the week, collecting two home runs, a double and five RBIs in keying a 12-6 victory over the Astros on Friday. He followed it up one day later by matching a career high with four hits on Saturday.
With his impressive week at the plate, Encarnacion entered play this week hitting .278 with 28 home runs and 82 RBIs on the season.
Lind returns to action against A's
OAKLAND -- Adam Lind made his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Monday night, just one day after he was forced to sit out a game against the Astros because of a back injury.
Lind has been plagued by back injuries in each of the past three seasons and it's something that likely will never completely go away. As a result, he has to manage the injuries to ensure they don't turn into a long-term problem.
That will require sitting out a game every now and then, but it's much better than the alternative, which would be attempting to play through the pain and risk requiring a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
"He felt better today," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Monday. "Yesterday, when he got to the ballpark it tightened up on him. He took a little [batting practice] but was good to pinch-hit. He felt fine today."
Lind missed 28 games last season and an additional 24 in 2011 with soreness in his back. He has since changed his workout routine to help strengthen the area and has missed only a handful of games this season because of the lingering pain.
The 30-year-old entered play on Monday night hitting .291 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 89 games this season. He was unable to start on Sunday against the Astros but did enter the game in the ninth inning as a pitch-hitter after right fielder Jose Bautista was ejected for arguing with the home-plate umpire.
• Right-hander Kyle Drabek was named Pitcher of the Week in the Florida State League on Monday. Drabek hasn't allowed a run in his past 15 2/3 innings while walking just two and striking out 16. Drabek is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery and, though he was recently activated from the 60-day disabled list, he is expected to slowly advance through the club's Minor League system.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.