It might not be quite as good as getting Brett Lawrie to return to the lineup, but the Toronto Blue Jays will soon welcome back to the big leagues another member of Team Unit. Catcher JP Arencibia is on pace for a return sometime next week – and very possibly ahead of schedule, too.
Arencibia, who has been out with a broken hand, will take a big step in his rehab process today. Starting in a minor league rehab game with the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays, Arencibia is slotted in the 3-hole as the DH for the team. How he does on the plate is yet to be seen, but he’s been working up to full batting practice until this point.
Provided that there are no setbacks, the Blue Jays could get their regular catcher back sometime in the upcoming weekend:
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) August 30, 2012
It’s a big “if”, of course. Blue Jays fans have seen some of these expected return dates of injured players delayed by setbacks, as well as the effects of trying to come back a little too early. Hopefully, this isn’t going to be the case with Arencibia, whose big power game (and little else, really) could be severely affected by any lingering effects in the broken hand that he suffered.
When he does return, Arencibia will probably be eased back into full-time duty in the final weeks of the season, with Jeff Mathis - he of the game-saving block at the plate just a couple of days ago – returning to the backup role he’s held all season.
It’ll also probably mean the end of the Yorvit Torrealba show in Toronto, as the team won’t really have too much of a reason not to sent the veteran back to the minors. He was signed as a short term plug while the team needed an extra catcher, and will be looking for work elsewhere next season. Well, that is unless the plan is to have Arencibia share DH duties during most of the final stretch along with Adam Lind, anyway.
Either way, it might be thinking a little too far ahead for now, as Arencibia still has to go through the rest of the rehab process first to be deemed healthy enough and ready for a big-league return.
As we’ve seen with Lawrie and Jose Bautista, that’s been easier said than done this season.