Back in action

I’m back after booking off the Blue Jays four-game series in Kansas City. A lot of the other beat reporters followed the same schedule that I’m on and during our absence the club managed to go 4-0. We return and Toronto finds a way to lose a tough ballgame. Coincedence? Absolutely, but I’m sure someone out there can start the conspiracy theories.

The big news while I was away centered around Sergio Santos. We found out on Monday that he will be out at least four weeks but the Blue Jays appeared to dodge a major bullet by the injury not being more severe than just inflammation. Sounds like there was genuine concern there would be structural damage in the throwing shoulder but since that has been ruled out the long-term concerns should be alleviated.

Below, you’ll find some of today’s leftovers from the pre-game scrum that mostly talked about Santos. There are some additional items on the Blue Jays’new look lineup, recent winning streak, and the make-up of Toronto’s bullpen. Also on the main site you can find today’s notebook and of course tonight’s game story which is all about Eric Thames and Henderson Alvarez.

John Farrell:

Length of time for Santos…

“We feel like it’s going to be a minimum of four weeks. Ten to 14 days of no throw and as we’ve used the typical rule of thumb it’s going to be at least the same number of days to get back to where he left off. That’s going to take us right up to, probably, a four-week period.”

Would he be ready for a rehab assignment after 14 days or he’d just be ready to throw again?

“I think the best way to outline it right now is that at the end of that 14-day period once he initiates a throwing program we’ll re-evaluate where he’s at, get a full work-up of tests as far as strength is concerned and how we would advance through his throwing program at that point. So that’s why I said, you initiate the throwing program and you start to build back up it’s going to be that minimum of four weeks.”

Did he have any of these symptoms in Spring Training?

“No. That’s why the last outing in Kansas City, this was clearly isolated where even during that outing, unfortunately he felt not quite right but yet he’s 95-97 mph and as the course of that evening progressed through the night and the morning when he woke up there was increased stiffness, increased soreness, and when he came in for some treatment and then did some early light catch he felt okay but then during his throwing program when we started to lengthen him out it was starting to grab him a little bit more and that’s when we decided at that point it was time to get him evaluated.”

Has there been noticeable changes in his delivery since being converted to a pitcher?

“As far as I know there haven’t been drastic changes. I’m sure from the first time he stepped on the mound to the other night there might be some subtle changes but even in talking with Serge two days ago before we made the move he felt nothing last year, he felt nothing at any time while he’s been converted to a pitcher and yet it showed up in that one outing and that’s why we were concerned. If he didn’t have this in Spring Training and he didn’t have anything leading up to that, then all of a sudden in one outing you have that kind of inflammation, we were concerned to the point of not questioning it, putting him on the disabled list and having him evaluated totally.”

Janseen hasn’t pitched in 10 days. Does the injury to Santos open up the door for a possible role as a set-up man?

“Well because there has been a number of days that he hasn’t gotten into a game we’ll look to. One, he has to get back into a game first and foremost. The fact is we’ve gone to some matchups, how Luis Perez has evolved, I’m not going to say has supplanted him or replaced other guys, he’s done one hell of a job for us, Casey’s fully ready to go and he will be in the mix.”

More on Perez…

“Last night, had both Frasor and Oliver hot when we started the eighth we were basically hitter to hitter, we were going to match up and then when Luis went through the heart of their order with a couple of weak ground balls, I was staying out of the way.”

Encarnacion the new clean-up hitter?

“It gives us a couple of other options and the fact that the way Eddie has swung the bat, he has emerged as our four-hole hitter for right now. The fact that he and Adam are one slot apart in the lineup, it’s not that big of a deal but whether it has been against right-handers or left-handers, Eddie has swung the bat very well and has provided more consistent protection behind Jose and I thought throughout the course of the entire series against Kansas City he had good at-bats. That’s the way we’re going to go right now.”

So, he’s earned the promotion?

“Yeah. Ideally that would be the best thing that everybody does. It gives us the ability to push Adam down and a spot and then we can stack the left-handers in the 7-8 hole with Rasmus and Thames. Somebody has to hit four, somebody has to hit eight, so that’s where we are.”

Rasmus has moved up as well…

“He is in a very good place. There hasn’t been a whole lot of swing and miss. The other day, Duffy was a tough left-hander for him but setting that game aside, and even throughout the course of the other 14 games of the year he has done a good job of getting the bat on the ball, he has hit good pitching, he has squared up good pitching and he feels very confident in his overall game right now.”

Four-game sweep a good sign for this ballclub that needs to beat teams like Kansas City?

“We had some things go our way and I think we executed very well within the series in Kansas City. We still know that within our division that those games mean the most and that’s where we have to continue to improve upon and that’s not to take anyone lightly outside of our division but we all know that the 18 games per team in here they mean twice as much just because of the head-up competition. We will be challenged every night we walk onto the field against a team in this division.

“But for us to get where we want to go we’re going to have to go through this teams that are in the East.”

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