Slowly but relatively surely, the Blue Jays should start getting key players back in the lineup in the coming days.
Manager John Gibbons, speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre before the Jays finished a two-game set with the Atlanta Braves, figured that Troy Tulowitzki will be back in uniform on Thursday in Atlanta. Tulowitzki, recovering from a hamstring injury, again played in a minor-league game on Tuesday in Florida.
Catcher Russell Martin (left shoulder) is eligible to be activated on Thursday but it could be a few more days after before he is in the lineup.
“Waiting for the strength to come back,” Gibbons said when asked what his biggest concern was regarding Martin’s injury.
“Little by little, it’s coming back. We have to let the nerve calm down enough. When it is hitting on that nerve, it’s irritated and saps the strength out of there.
“He was having trouble moving his arm with any quickness. He is feeling better but I could not tell you when (Martin will be back).”
As for Josh Donaldson (calf), Gibbons said “we will have a better idea later in the week,” as to when Donaldson returns.
CECILIANI ON CUE
The Jays recalled outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from triple-A Buffalo and sent pitcher Leonel Campos to their top minor-league affiliate.
“The confidence is good,” Ceciliani said prior to batting practice.
“Looking at my numbers, they weren’t very good, but I was swinging the bat, hitting the ball hard the last five, six games down there, just unfortunately right to people. But that’s the game. I feel confident in what I can do and feel where I need to be.”
Ceciliani was hitting .145 (11-for-76) in 21 games with the Bisons. In 13 games with the Jays in 2016, Ceciliani hit .111.
The 26-year-old wasn’t about to put too much on his own shoulders.
“Whether it’s on the bases, defensively, having a big at-bat, moving a guy over, whatever it is, just trying to do something each day to help the team win if I’m called upon,” Ceciliani said. “This is where you want to be.
“Mentally, I’m confident in knowing what I can do and trying to be ready for whatever Gibby asks of me.”
Campos, meanwhile, matched a career high set in 2014 when he recorded four strikeouts during the Jays’ 10-6 loss against the Braves on Monday.
Gibbons indicated Mike Bolsinger, who wasn’t good in a loss to the Braves on Monday, will start on Saturday in Baltimore. Bolsinger, sporting a career record of 8-18, has not won since last May 24 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers … Gibbons on pitcher Francisco Liriano, out with a shoulder injury: “He is feeling a lot better. He will get on the mound in the next couple of days, test it out a little bit.” … Outfielder Steve Pearce (calf) was scheduled to head to Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday to begin a rehab assignment … Jose Bautista’s three-hit game on Monday was his first since last Aug. 28. In fact, that game against Minnesota toward the end of last summer marked the lone outing in 2016 that Bautista had three hits in one game … The Jays announced they have signed catcher/designated hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor-league contract. Released by the Jays on May 3 after appearing in 10 games with Toronto this season, Saltalamacchia will report to Buffalo … With two off-days next week (Monday and Thursday), Gibbons said there could be adjustments to the rotation … Devon Travis’ 10 doubles in May heading into Tuesday were the most in the majors during the month. Boston Red Sox teammates Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts were tied for second with seven each in May.