The Toronto Blue Jays saw their winning streak end at 11 games on Monday, but they have another award waiting for them. MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays will activate shortstop Jose Reyes for the series finale with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, June 26. Chisholm broke the news late Tuesday night.
Reyes will be activated Wednesday. #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) June 25, 2013
Initial reports had Reyes returning for the Boston Red Sox series on Thursday, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos decided to move the return date up one day. Chisholm explained that Anthopoulos saw Reyes play in person at Toronto's Triple-A Buffalo and felt it is time to bring back the Blue Jays' shortstop and lead-off hitter.
Reyes finished his rehab assignment 12 for 29, Most importantly, manager John Gibbons notes that Reyes had no trouble at all with the ankle that disabled him since April 12. Said Gibbons,
"He's not limited in anything that he can do, not
hobbling at all. He's swinging the bat, stole a base. Basically, he has come so
far, but as far as actually playing games, it hasn't been that long -- just
trying to build that up."
Obviously, Reyes's return gives the Blue Jays a huge boost. According to Chisholm, with Reyes leading off, Melky Cabrera will likely drop to fifth in the order, but Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Adam Lind will keep their powerful bats in the two, three, and four holes. That will give the Blue Jays' offense more strength at the top of the order, in the middle, and closer to the bottom as Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia move down a spot. Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonafacio will likely drop to the bottom two spots.
Someone must go to make room for Reyes. According to Chisholm, the Blue Jays have not made a definite choice yet, but infielder Munenori Kawasaki looks like the most likely choice. Kawasaki filled in for Reyes and hit .225 with seven stolen bases. He is a career .212 hitter in 121 games. Should the Blue Jays decide to keep an extra position player, then they could send down reliever Neil Wagner, who has an option left on his contract. The right-hander has made 11 appearances, totaling 11 innings with a 1-1 record. The Blue Jays have until game time on Wednesday to make the decision.
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