7/7/2014 9:41 P.M. ET
Newcomer Reimold takes over right for slowed Bautista
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- As expected, outfielder Nolan Reimold officially joined the Blue Jays on Monday for the start of their three-game series vs. the Angels.
Reimold was claimed off waivers from the Orioles on Sunday morning. A spot was created on the 25-man roster when Edwin Encarnacion hit the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps muscle.
Prior to joining Toronto, Reimold had yet to play in a Major League game this season as he recovered from a serious neck injury. Reimold now becomes the Blue Jays' starter in right field until Jose Bautista is fully recovered from a strained left hamstring.
"I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity and a better team to pick me up," Reimold said. "They're doing well, up there in the division, and I was told I'd get an opportunity to play. I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm just very appreciative for this opportunity. I'm going to go out there and prove them correct for giving me a shot."
Reimold used to be one of Baltimore's top prospects, but his career was derailed because of injuries. In 2012, he had surgery to fuse the spine in his neck, but he found out almost a year later that the surgery was not successful.
That forced Reimold to undergo yet another season-ending surgery. The procedure is very similar to the one NFL quarterback Peyton Manning had prior to joining the Denver Broncos. Reimold now appears to be in the clear and says he feels fully healthy for the first time since the start of '12.
Reimold recently went through a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie. He hit .315 with two homers and nine RBIs with a .902 OPS in 17 games. He was designated for assignment by the Orioles because they didn't have any room in the outfield.
Even when Bautista returns to right field, it's possible Reimold will settle into a platoon with Adam Lind at DH.
"I think, as an athlete, there's not too much more frustrating than waiting to do something physically and just not being able to do it," Reimold said. "That's kind of what I went through for a long time, not just after the surgery, but the residual effects with arm weakness and all of that.
"Just not being able to do what you used to be able to do. Good thing for me that a lot of time has gone by, I've had a lot of good results with this second surgery and feeling really good out there. I shouldn't have any problems and I'm eager to get started again."
Blue Jays plan to platoon at DH, center field
ANAHEIM -- Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays intend to use a pair of platoons in the field for the immediate future, at least until someone starts to get hot with the bat.
Toronto plans to platoon Adam Lind and Cole Gillespie at designated hitter. In center field, Colby Rasmus will sit against left-handed pitchers in favor of Darin Mastroianni.
The idea is nothing new for an organization that has tried to take advantage of favorable splits in the past, but it does come as a bit of a surprise considering the lack of offense that can be expected from Mastroianni and Gillespie.
"Gillespie will platoon with Lindy, see what we can do against some lefties," Gibbons said. "Then we're going to start platooning Rasmus in center a little bit with Mastroianni until he gets going."
Gillespie was claimed off waivers from the Mariners last week, but even though he's a right-handed hitter he hasn't done particularly well against left-handers. The 30-year-old has a .553 OPS in 155 Major League at-bats, and his numbers weren't that much higher in the Minors.
The more obvious fit would be recalling Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo to split time with Lind. Kratz has a career .655 OPS in his career vs. lefties and brings some additional power. That would give the Blue Jays three catchers on the roster, which worked earlier this year when Kratz started behind the plate vs. lefties and Dioner Navarro moved to DH in place of Lind.
That doesn't seem to be the plan for now, though, as the Blue Jays will continue to carry five healthy outfielders on the roster. That number expands to six when it includes Jose Bautista, and seven when considering Steve Tolleson, who was the club's fourth outfielder for awhile but typically starts in the infield.
"I'll tell you what, we'd like to get him back," Gibbons said of Kratz. "If we can put it all together where he fits, he can help us. He helped us when he was here. I think he would be a big addition."