Encarnacion would be available to pinch-hit, Gibbons said. He took swings in the batting cage, and the hope is that he will return in time for the series opener against the Yankees on Friday. The team has echoed that same refrain all week, so it's not clear how close Encarnacion is to a return.
Gibbons said earlier in the week that it would be important to have Encarnacion healthy in time for their Interleague series against the Phillies starting Tuesday, when he'll be required to play first base. Chris Colabello has been hitting cleanup and serving as the designated hitter in Encarnacion's absence.
Troy Tulowitzki was also out of the lineup Thursday, as Gibbons said his shortstop was due for a day of rest. Ben Revere was batting leadoff in place of Tulowitzki and Ryan Goins started at short, hitting a crucial three-run homer in the second inning. The Blue Jays are 13-0 with Tulowitzki in the lineup.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.