7/20/2014 2:55 P.M. ET
Anthopoulos may look to add bat via trade
By Jamie Ross / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Back in May, it would've seemed highly unlikely that the Blue Jays' priority at the non-waiver Trade Deadline would be to acquire more offense. The team pounded the ball through that month, leading the Major Leagues in runs (165), homers (48) and OPS (.829), while putting up a 21-9 record over that span, including a nine-game win streak.
Back then, conversation was almost entirely about Toronto's need to acquire starting pitching in order to contend for a playoff spot in the American League East. But the narrative has changed over the course of a month and half, as the Blue Jays' offense has fallen into a slump. Since June 1, the team has scored the second fewest runs in the AL, ahead of only the Red Sox.
"Just having watched the games, clearly, offensively, we haven't played as well as we can," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Sunday when asked about specific areas he'd like to improve upon by the deadline.
Injuries have contributed to that low production. With Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind on the 15-day disabled list, there are holes in the Blue Jays' batting order. Getting those players back will provide a boost, but that won't stop Anthopoulos from attempting to add a bat via trade.
"I think the return to health represents an upgrade. Our four-, five-, six-hole hitters are out. Getting them back is huge, no matter what," Anthopoulos said. "But we're going to look at doing it by trade as well. Hopefully, it will be a combination of both.
"We can add players, so we have the ability to have that dialogue at any time," he said. "I don't see any reason why we won't be able to add players, and obviously players make money; no one plays for free."
Lind, Lawrie, Encarnacion progressing well
TORONTO -- Adam Lind is out of his walking boot, Brett Lawrie's fractured finger is out of a splint, and Edwin Encarnacion and Nolan Reimold are progressing well, according to Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
"I'm optimistic that our guys have a chance to come back sooner than we all think," Anthopoulos told reporters prior to Sunday's contest against the Rangers. "I got an update [Saturday] that Lind and Encarnacion are really progressing well ... they're swinging off the tee."
This is welcome news for a club that has been severely hampered by injuries lately.
"Again, we haven't set a timeline or timetable," Anthopoulos said. "Again, just in speaking with our training staff, they wouldn't be surprised if these guys have a chance to get into rehab games by the weekend."
Lawrie, who's on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right index finger, has been without a splint on his injured digit for two days. He has taken ground balls and is working on getting his grip strength back. The next step will be to start swinging.
"He's about ready to start swinging. It's just a matter of swinging to his tolerance and making sure that the stability holds up," said Anthopoulos. "He's certainly moving in the right direction."
Lind was placed on the DL with a right foot fracture on July 11. He was planning to take some swings for the second time on Sunday.
"For everything [Lind has] done, he's got no symptoms at all, no pain," said Anthopoulos. "It's obviously a great sign."
Encarnacion (right quadriceps strain) has been on the DL since July 7, and Reimold (left calf strain) was sidelined on July 12.
• Closer Casey Janssen said he'd be able to pitch on Sunday after being unavailable on Saturday due to illness. Janssen said he either suffered food poisoning or the flu while on vacation over the All-Star break, and he became seriously ill on Friday.
• Anthopoulos said he'd like to have the ability to use right-hander Brandon Morrow in some capacity this season. Morrow is on the 60-day disabled list with a torn tendon sheath in his right index finger. He'll head to the team's training complex in Florida this weekend to continue his rehabilitation.
"Obviously, I hope he comes back completely healthy, which we expect him to," said Anthopoulos. "And who knows what the rotation's going to look like? Who knows what the bullpen's going to look like? I think a healthy Brandon Morrow helps this team. … If we think he's an upgrade, if he's throwing the ball great and he's better than some of the guys we have starting, one of those guys can go to the 'pen. Brandon's ultimately going to dictate that with his performance and his health."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.