SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Josh Johnson was cleared to return to the Blue Jays' starting rotation Tuesday night in San Francisco.
Johnson made his final rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday night, and while the results were not exactly impressive, it was enough to get the green light.
The ninth-year pitcher allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings for the Bisons, but the results took a backseat to his overall health.
"Yeah, he's good to go because he felt fine," manager John Gibbons said. "It's rare when you see guys, big league pitchers, go down and pitch in the Minor Leagues; they usually get pounded pretty good.
"I'd almost be surprised if he didn't, if you want to know the truth. Why that happens, I don't know, but you see it all the time. But the key is, he's healthy."
Johnson has been out for the past six weeks because of inflammation in his right triceps muscle. He made three rehab appearances -- one with Class-A Dunedin and two in Buffalo -- before getting cleared to start Tuesday in San Francisco.
The 29-year-old allowed a total of seven earned runs in his 11 2/3 innings at the Minor League level. He struck out 11 while walking four in his three appearances.
Encarnacion moved to third for Interleague
SAN DIEGO -- With the Blue Jays in search of more offense, the club moved Edwin Encarnacion to third base for Friday night's game against the Padres.
Encarnacion spent the first six years of his career at third before transitioning to first midway through the 2011 season. He entered play Friday with just one game at the position in the past two years.
The move was made mostly to get Adam Lind into the lineup at first base as the club takes part in Interleague Play at National League parks where the designated hitter cannot be used.
"Eddie hasn't been over there for a while, but this allows us to get Lindy in there, you know, with Brett Lawrie being out, so it gets our bats in there," manager John Gibbons said.
Encarnacion originally transitioned from third base because of his defensive woes at the position. He committed an astonishing 112 errors in 664 career games at the hot corner and typically had a lot of issues making a consistent throw across the diamond.
The issues are not overly concerning in this particular case because the move is expected to be shortterm. Encarnacion could find himself back at first Saturday with left-hander Clayton Richard on the mound for San Diego, but he will most likely be back at third again Sunday.
If all goes well, the run at third could continue next week in San Francisco, but after that the club returns to the American League and Encarnacion will find himself back at first base, with Lind resuming his spot at DH.
"I think it's going to be fine," said third base coach Luis Rivera, who is in charge of infield defense. "He takes ground balls at first base every day. It's a different angle, but he's taking ground balls is the thing. He took ground balls yesterday, he took about 30 ground balls, maybe a little bit more than that.
"He threw to first base, he felt comfortable; he was moving his feet well, like he's doing at first base, and he made all good throws to first. So that's a good thing."
Encarnacion entered play Friday night hitting .264 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 54 games this season. He had 12 homers and 37 RBIs over his past 34 contests.
Morrow's Sunday start in jeopardy
SAN DIEGO -- Brandon Morrow's scheduled start Sunday in San Diego remains very much in doubt because of continued soreness in his right forearm.
Morrow managed to get through two innings in his last outing vs. the Braves before succumbing to the discomfort. He was adamant earlier in the week that he would not miss a start, but that appears to now be in doubt.
The 28-year-old had a light game of catch Friday afternoon, but manager John Gibbons was not exactly optimistic that Morrow would be ready by Sunday.
"Morrow is up in the air for Sunday," Gibbons said. "He's feeling a little bit better, but two days away, I don't know. I haven't had a chance to talk to the trainers and the pitching coach just yet, but it's dicey."
Morrow allowed four runs while striking out two during his last start. He managed to get his fastball above 90 mph to just one hitter during that outing and was clearly not himself on the mound.
If Morrow misses the coming outing, it is not immediately clear who would take his place. Right-hander Esmil Rogers was ruled out for the job after he threw more than 60 pitches on Wednesday, and Gibbons does not want to bring him back on short rest. The same situation applies to Marcus Stroman, ranked the Blue Jays' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, who also pitched on Wednesday for Double-A New Hampshire.
Right-hander Justin Germano is scheduled to start for Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and could enter the mix. Gibbons mentioned right-handed reliever Todd Redmond as a possibility while Ramon Ortiz could become a possibility if Morrow heads to the disabled list.