Jays keep hobbled Escobar, Lewis out
Shortstop may return on Saturday; outfielder 'available to run'
NEW YORK -- Yunel Escobar and Fred Lewis did not start on Friday against the Yankees, though Escobar appears closer to returning than Lewis.
Lewis, who left Wednesday's game with a right elbow strain, was "available to run but not to hit," according to manager Cito Gaston. The outfielder did not take batting practice or hit off a tee before the game. Escobar, who has missed five games with a sore back, could return on Saturday.
"He should be available to play tomorrow," Gaston said on Friday. "It just depends on how he feels today swinging. He's still a little sore, but we're thinking perhaps he should be ready to go tomorrow."
Mike McCoy moved into the leadoff spot on Friday and played shortstop. Travis Snider, who replaced Lewis in left field during Wednesday's game, filled in again on Friday and hit second, homering off Ivan Nova in the top of the first inning.
The Escobar injury has helped give John McDonald more playing time at shortstop and third base, where the veteran started on Friday. With Edwin Encarnacion on the disabled list with a wrist injury, McDonald will get a chance to build on his recent power surge. Gaston even suggested that Jose Bautista could see some time at third base in the season's final month.
"He's got a chance to play because Encarnacion is going to be out," Gaston said of McDonald. "He's going to play. There might be some point where we put Bautista back at third and put DeWayne Wise in the outfield somewhere. But right now, Mac's in there."
Overbay, not concussed, returns
NEW YORK -- After missing a week with what he described as a "heavy head" and other head-injury symptoms, Lyle Overbay returned to the Blue Jays' starting lineup on Friday, batting fifth and playing first base against the Yankees.
A CT scan and other tests performed on Overbay determined that he did not suffer a concussion when he collided with pitcher Brian Tallet against the Yankees on Aug. 24.
"I felt good on Wednesday," Overbay said before Friday's game. "I went through everything. I think I could have played Wednesday -- I just didn't want to rush it. I had the day off yesterday, no relapses or anything, so I'm good to go."
With stars like the Mets' Jason Bay and the Twins' Justin Morneau missing extended periods of time with concussions of their own, Overbay was happy to know he had not been concussed.
"It's one of those things where you just don't know," Overbay said. "You kind of wait it out. That day could come two weeks down the way, three weeks or five days, which was what mine was. I'm definitely relieved.
"It's weird -- it's hard to explain what I felt, but I knew something was wrong. I mean, I'm not all there in the first place, but it definitely was something that wasn't normal."
Manager Cito Gaston, who hinted that he rested Overbay on Wednesday in part to save him the experience of facing Tampa Bay left-hander David Price, was happy to have his first baseman back.
"He's done a great job with the bat, and he's also won us a lot of games with his glove," Gaston said of Overbay. "I think when he was out, people didn't realize it. I think they can see the difference."
Fantasy football unites Blue Jays
NEW YORK -- Casey Janssen walked through the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium holding a laminated draft board and showed it off to his teammates.
"Look what Oakland left," Janssen said.
With the NFL season less than a week away, the Blue Jays planned to hold a draft for their fantasy league after Friday's game against the Yankees. Brian Tallet, the league's commissioner, will preside over a 12-team league that has been won by pitching coach Bruce Walton the past two seasons. Walton has played in the championship game for the past three seasons.
"This will be my fifth year playing in this league," said Tallet, who came equipped with his own draft kit, complete with individual player stickers. "I've had some ups and downs. The year I drafted Tom Brady, he got hurt in the first game, and I obviously ended up being a non-factor. But every year, I've done all right."
Right-hander Shaun Marcum has the first pick. He first joked he would take Steelers reserve quarterback Charlie Batch, then said that he would take a coach. Walton said he expected to take Vikings running back Adrian Peterson with the second pick.
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.