7/29/2014 12:56 A.M. ET
Morrow likely to pitch in relief upon return
Gibbons hoping to have veteran right-hander active by September
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
BOSTON -- When Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow eventually returns this season, he'll likely be pitching out of the bullpen.
Manager John Gibbons gave some credence to the theory that has been talked about for the past several weeks. The line of thinking was that Morrow wouldn't have enough time to properly prepare as a starter.
That would still appear to be the case as Morrow departed for Florida on Sunday to continue his rehab at the club's Minor League complex. In some ways, it's like starting Spring Training all over again.
"If I was to say right now, today, when he comes back he'll probably be a reliever," Gibbons said. "But by then, you never know what we're looking at anyways. We may need a starter, we don't know as a team where we're going to be at that point."
Morrow recently took a step forward by throwing off a mound, but according to Gibbons, the righty has yet to start "cutting it loose." There's no immediate timetable for Morrow to begin throwing without limitations and even once that happens, it will be a slow progression to get into game shape.
With just over two months remaining in the season, Morrow is up against the clock to make an impact. If everything goes well, the Blue Jays hope to have him back in September and he likely could become another piece for the bullpen alongside prospect Aaron Sanchez and hard-throwing righty Dustin McGowan.
Morrow made six starts earlier this season before tearing a tendon sheath in his right index finger. It marks the second consecutive year Morrow's had a marginal impact on the Blue Jays because of an injury.
"That's going to take awhile," Gibbons said of Morrow. "You hope for maybe September, that would be my guess."
Lind closest to rejoining lineup
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays' list of walking wounded continues to show various levels of improvement, but the club has remained vague about exactly when they can be expected back in the lineup.
Toronto originally hoped to have Edwin Encarnacion (strained right quad) and Adam Lind (fractured right foot) back by the end of this week. That changed when Encarnacion suffered a setback Friday and he's temporarily shut down from baseball activities until at least Tuesday.
Lind appears to be further along, but still feels some discomfort in the foot, which means the Blue Jays aren't exactly sure when he'll be able to return.
"Adam hit in a simulated game down there just to get some swings," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "He doesn't feel anything when he swings. He does feel it a little bit when he runs, when he has to run the bases and change direction and that can impact him in the field.
"It's really going to come down to when that pain is gone when he has to run the bases, change directions and things like that. We don't know exactly when that's going to come, but at least in the meantime, at least we're able to let him hit, swing and try to get his timing back."
Infielder Brett Lawrie recently made the trip to the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Florida. He has started to hit off a tee, but has yet to resume hitting off live pitching. Lawrie appears to be the furthest away from a return and will need to go on a rehab assignment before rejoining his teammates.
That would seem to indicate that Lawrie is still at least a couple of weeks away, but the club has declined to get into those type of specifics.
"Realistically, we were thinking all of them might be back by the end of the road trip," Gibbons said. "But I don't know if that's realistic right now."