Notes: Duo to platoon at third base
With Glaus down, Smith, McDonald will play hot corner
TORONTO -- There was no game on the schedule, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons still made the trek to Rogers Centre on Monday. The club used the day off to evaluate the status of ailing third baseman Troy Glaus.
Glaus ran through a number of drills in front of the Blue Jays brass, who watched as he tested his sore left heel and stiff hamstring. When the session was over, Gibbons wasn't convinced that Glaus would be able to play on Tuesday, opting instead to place the third baseman on the 15-day disabled list.
"We hit him some ground balls and he did a little running, but he just wasn't right," Gibbons said Tuesday. "If this is August or September, he could play through it. But this is the beginning of April. We want to try to get rid of it."
While Glaus rests his legs on the DL, the Blue Jays will continue to use infielders Jason Smith and John McDonald at third base. The pair will be in a platoon situation, with Smith, who bats from the left side, starting against right-handers, and McDonald, who hits right-handed, playing versus lefties.
Losing Glaus, who hit a team-high 38 home runs a year ago, creates a large hole in the lineup, but Smith and McDonald have both experienced strong starts this season. Smith -- acquired by Toronto during the Rule 5 Draft in December -- was batting .353 with a double and three RBIs through eight games. McDonald had a .500 average with two doubles and one RBI in eight games.
"They've both played very good on defense and they've both been swinging the bats," Gibbons said. "That's what they're here for -- situations like this. If somebody gets a little banged up, we'll give them a little playing time."
Glaus' DL stay is retroactive to Friday, which means he'll be eligible to return to play again on April 28, when the Jays host the Rangers. Gibbons said that should be enough time for Glaus to recover some from the bone spur in his left heel. The 6-foot-5 slugger is hitting .333 with two home runs and five RBIs in eight games this season for Toronto.
Going forward: The Blue Jays have mapped out a tentative rehabilitation plan for All-Star closer B.J. Ryan, who landed on the 15-day DL on Sunday with a strained ligament in his left elbow.
"He's not going to touch a ball for four weeks," Gibbons said. "Then he'll get on a throwing program. It happened early in the year. Time's still on our side, you'd hope. We'll see. Hopefully that's all he needs."
On Monday, Ryan met with renowned arm specialist Dr. James Andrews, who informed Toronto that the pitcher wouldn't require surgery. The Jays expect Ryan to miss at least six weeks before rejoining the bullpen.
Called up: The Jays recalled infielder Ryan Roberts from Triple-A Syracuse to fill the roster spot that opened when Glaus landed on the DL. Gibbons said that Roberts would serve as a utility player.
"When he went down to Triple-A this year, the plan was we wanted him to play every position," Gibbons said. "He played third, short, second and first down there. I don't know if he got in the outfield, but we're kind of grooming him to be a good utility guy. He can fit anywhere."
In seven games with the Chiefs, Roberts was hitting .269 with two home runs and six RBIs. He spent nine games with Toronto last season, posting a .077 average with one hit -- a solo home run on Aug. 3 at Yankee Stadium.
Scouting Dice-K: Gibbons was impressed with what he saw while studying video footage of Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made his first career start against the Jays on Tuesday.
"He throws anything at any time," Gibbons said. "He's very good at that. He's got that overpowering fastball. It's not like he's just a finesse guy. When he turns that loose, [he's tough]. He keeps you off-balance all day."
In memory: Prior to Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox, the Blue Jays held a moment of silence at Rogers Centre to honor those who lost their lives during Monday's horrific shooting incident on the campus of Virginia Tech University.
Did you know? Toronto left-hander Gustavo Chacin, who started against Boston on Tuesday, entered the game with a 5-0 record in seven career starts against the Red Sox. He went 4-0 with a 3.43 ERA versus Boston in 2006.
Quotable: "It's tough to lose them, but it happens sometimes. I don't think you can lower your expectations, though. We still have a good team." --Gibbons, on the injuries to Glaus, Ryan and left fielder Reed Johnson
Coming up: Right-hander Tomo Ohka (0-1, 7.84 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound when the Blue Jays host the Red Sox in the second tilt of a three-game set at 7:07 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Rogers Centre. Boston will counter with righty Tim Wakefield (1-1, 1.38 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.