Hamstring improved, Encarnacion at DH

Blue Jays slugger likely will return to first base next week

Hamstring improved, Encarnacion at DH

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion returned to the Blue Jays' lineup for Friday's series opener against the Astros after sitting the previous two games with a sore left hamstring.

Encarnacion, who went 1-for-3 with a double in Toronto's 6-2 win, will be eased back into action as the club's designated hitter, manager John Gibbons said.

"I don't know if [his hamstring] is 100 percent, but he's good enough to play -- at least DH," Gibbons said. "He'll be fine."

Encarnacion, who suffered the injury while stretching for balls at first during the series in Minnesota, is expected to return to first base at some point next week, Gibbons said.

Worth noting

• General manager Alex Anthopoulos provided an update on right-hander Miguel Castro, who left his May 29 start for Triple-A Buffalo with a right hand injury.

Anthopoulos said the injury appears to be minor but will be monitored moving forward.

"It's the thumb and the index finger, similar to what he had last year," Anthopoulos said. "They expect it to resolve. The only adjustment they're going to make is whether it's between starts how much he'll grip things, weights, things like that, just to not put more pressure on it overall."

Castro is the Blue Jays' fifth-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com.

Devon Travis, meanwhile, continues to improve after experiencing a setback on May 29 in his recovery from a left shoulder injury. The second baseman is moving in the right direction, according to Anthopoulos, but the team has yet to provide a timetable for his return.

"We've already come this far, let's just get this completely resolved, completely healed, let's not try and grind through this," Anthopoulos said. "If it's the playoffs, sure, he'd be playing through it. Hopefully it's not that much longer, but we don't really have a timetable, we'll just re-evaluate it early next week."

Dan Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.