Liriano will return to Blue Jays' rotation Friday

Liriano will return to Blue Jays' rotation Friday

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays officially announced on Tuesday afternoon that left-hander Francisco Liriano will be activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday night's game against the Yankees.

Liriano has been out since May 10 because of a sore left shoulder. He appeared in a rehab game for Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and allowed three runs over 4 1/3 innings before getting clearance to return to the big leagues.

The decision to start Liriano on Friday allows the Blue Jays to give right-handers Joe Biagini and Marcus Stroman an extra day of rest. Biagini will start against New York on Saturday, and Stroman will get the series finale on Sunday.

"I think [Stroman] could use [the extra rest]," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Does he need it? Probably not, but it would probably do him some good.

"It should help [Biagini], I would think, too. You hope anyways. Sometimes these guys get into a groove and their routines, you throw them a little bit out of whack. I think it'll help Liriano more than anybody. It'll keep him on normal [routine]."

Liriano is expected to take the rotation spot of Mike Bolsinger, who likely will make his final start for the Blue Jays on Wednesday vs. Cincinnati. Bolsinger is out of options on his contract and cannot be sent to the Minors without first clearing waivers. One way around that would be to put him in the bullpen, but the Blue Jays don't have a lot of flexibility down there either.

"[Liriano] felt good," Gibbons said of the southpaw's rehab start. "He felt really good [Sunday]. He felt really good that next day. That's good enough for us."

Leone loses spot

Right-hander Dominic Leone was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Tuesday night's starter J.A. Happ on the 25-man roster. Happ was activated from the DL on Tuesday after missing the past six weeks because of inflammation in his left elbow.

Leone induces inning-ending DP

The decision to send down Leone wasn't an easy won for the Blue Jays. He earned the trust of Gibbons and pitched well enough to keep a spot, but this was the easiest move to make to preserve depth. The other alternatives -- lefty J.P. Howell or, less likely, Jason Grilli -- could not be sent to the Minors.

"[Leone] took it better than a lot of guys would've probably," Gibbons said. "He understands it. I think he likes pitching here. He got his opportunity to get back here. But still it's not easy."

Worth mentioning

• Left fielder Steve Pearce (right calf strain) is still not close to a return. Pearce has been out since May 14 but Gibbons suggested he would not be back for at least a couple of more weeks. Ezequiel Carrera continues to receive the bulk of the playing time in Pearce's absence, with Chris Coghlan occasionally filling in. "It's going to be some time ... not in the next couple of weeks, I wouldn't think," Gibbons said.

• Coghlan was scratched from Monday night's game against the Reds because of a sore back, but he was feeling better the following day and was available off the bench Tuesday night.

• Gibbons reiterated that the Blue Jays will not get Aaron Sanchez to resume throwing until the blister on his right finger has completely healed. Sanchez tried to come back from the DL twice before, but didn't last long either time before the blister issue resurfaced. "We're going to make sure we do it right," Gibbons said.

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.