Estrada on track to make start vs. Mariners

Blue Jays right-hander feeling better and will come off DL on July 22

Estrada on track to make start vs. Mariners

OAKLAND -- Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada remains on track to be activated from the disabled list in time to make a start against the Mariners on July 22.

Estrada is currently on the 15-day DL with soreness in his lower back. The injury was considered relatively minor, but it was enough for Estrada to miss his final start before the All-Star break and then the Midsummer Classic in San Diego.

The time away appears to have done Estrada some good as Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced on Friday that his veteran starter is feeling better and will start, as expected, vs. Seattle.

"Estrada is feeling better, all is good there," Gibbons said.

Estrada technically could have been activated from the DL in time for an upcoming two-game series in Arizona. Toronto has decided to not make the move for that Interleague series because the club is concerned that Estrada being forced to hit could result in more back problems.

Toronto instead will instead hand the ball to right-hander Marcus Stroman for the series finale vs. the D-backs on Wednesday. Stroman, who started Friday night against the A's, will make that outing on regular rest because of Monday's off-day.

"Everybody needs a break, but sometimes too long of a break, you never know how it affects them," Gibbons said of the increased time off between outings for his starters because of the All-Star break. "Sometimes, too, it may take a couple of innings to find their groove, find their release point, you never really know."

Bautista, Goins on the mend
Jose Bautista is slowly but surely showing signs of improvement in his return from turf toe. Bautista has been out since June 16 because of a hyperextended big toe on his left foot, but he is eyeing a return at the end of the month.

Bautista is hitting at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla. It's not immediately clear when he will start playing the field, but Gibbons seems to think it won't be too much longer before the Blue Jays get their star outfielder back.

"He said he's feeling great and it's moving along," Gibbons said. "You don't want any setbacks. Take it slow, maybe by the end of the month."

Utilityman Ryan Goins also appears to be nearing a return. Goins has been out since June 29 when he experienced tightness in his right forearm during a rare pitching appearance in a game against the Indians. Goins began a rehab appearance with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday and he's eligible to come off the DL on Sunday.

Goins pitches a scoreless 18th

Still no plan for Colabello
The Blue Jays are taking a wait-and-see approach with suspended first baseman Chris Colabello. The 32-year-old recently began a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Dunedin and he's eligible to return to the Major Leagues on July 23.

Colabello received an 80-game suspension earlier this year for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The native of Massachusetts has options remaining on his contract and could be left in the Minors at the end of his current rehab assignment if the club decides against adding him to the 25-man roster.

"We're going to see how it all develops," Gibbons said of Colabello, who is not eligible for postseason play this year because of his suspension. "I think they're just going to let him play down there and see [how it goes]."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.