Tulo expected to return during Astros series

Tulo expected to return during Astros series

HOUSTON -- Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is expected to return either Wednesday or Thursday after dealing with a chip fracture in his right thumb.

Tulowitzki sustained the minor fracture during Sunday's extra-innings loss to the Orioles. He was held out of the lineup on Monday and Tuesday, though manager John Gibbons said on Tuesday he could be available off the bench.

The 31-year-old Tulowitzki went through some light baseball drills on the field prior to Tuesday's game against the Astros and then informed Gibbons he could play if necessary.

"We can put Tulo in there if we had to," Gibbons said on Tuesday afternoon. "He said, 'If you need me, do that.' Hopefully, he's all right tomorrow or the next day. He said he felt much better today. He took a few swings off a tee in there and feels a little better."

Tulowitzki is batting .243 with a .311 on-base percentage and .774 OPS in 79 games this season. He missed time earlier this year because of a sore quad and has 18 home runs with 52 RBIs during his first full season with the Blue Jays.

Flurry of moves continues

The Blue Jays made a series of moves prior to Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the roster shuffle continued on Tuesday. Following a pair of back-to-back extra-innings losses to Baltimore and Houston, the club needed a pair of fresh arms in the bullpen.

Right-hander Bo Schultz and infielder Ryan Goins were optioned to the Minor Leagues to make room for a pair of rested pitchers. Right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who was acquired from the Dodgers in a trade for Jesse Chavez on Monday, and rookie Danny Barnes were brought in from Triple-A Buffalo.

"I didn't expect this at all, but at this time of year, I guess there are a lot of times when guys don't really expect that something is going to happen," Bolsinger said. "I'm happy to be able to make a new start."

Barnes began the season in Double-A New Hampshire but earned a promotion after posting a 1.01 ERA in 35 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. He was even better for Triple-A Buffalo, as he allowed just one earned run over 17 2/3 innings.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Barnes, Toronto released right-hander Blake McFarland but then re-signed him to a Minor League deal.

"I'm very grateful," Barnes said. "I've seen guys who didn't get this opportunity, and it means a lot to me, that's for sure. I've been hurt before, and the Jays stuck it out with me, and this is a dream come true."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com 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.