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MacArthur: Gibbons doing what he can to revive offence

Scott MacArthur
7/8/2014 1:02:24 AM
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ANAHEIM – Short of swinging a bat himself, which at this point in his life is less than advisable, manager John Gibbons can only do so much to try to rest more offence out of his injury-depleted, slumping lineup.

With Nolan Reimold, claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Sunday, playing right field at Angel Stadium on Monday night, Gibbons is piecing together a series of platoons that he can only hope will be as effective as the Brett Lawrie-Juan Francisco-Steve Tolleson experiment was in May.

These aren't long-term fixes either. Gibbons surely knows it. But Edwin Encarnacion (quadriceps strain) and Brett Lawrie (fractured right index finger) are on the disabled list and there are no fewer than six outfielders on the active 25-man roster. The skipper gets creative.

"Until Jose (Bautista) goes back out to right we'll give Reimold the everyday at-bats out there," said manager John Gibbons. "Gillespie, he'll platoon with (Adam Lind), see what he can do with lefties. Then, we're going to start platooning Rasmus in centre a little bit with Mastroianni until he gets going."

The Blue Jays scored four runs in four games in Oakland, all losses. The club's calling card, the home run, all but dried up, with only Steve Tolleson going yard in the final inning of the final game, which closed the deficit to two in a 4-2 loss.

Jose Bautista is playing with a sore hamstring and Adam Lind isn't back to full health after fouling a ball off his right foot last month in Baltimore.

There's been plenty of thought given to recalling catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo, though expect that to happen at some point soon.

"We'd like to get him back," said Gibbons. "If we could put it all together where he fits; he could help us. He helped us while he was here. I think he'd be a big addition."

Reimold's been through the ringer with two neck fusion surgeries. The problem started, he believes, during a game in Chicago in April, 2012. He was playing leftfield for Baltimore when he went careening into the stands chasing down a fly ball. He somersaulted over the barricade. His neck snapped. He finished the game.

Reimold woke up the next morning with a knot in his back. Later that day, at the ballpark, a trainer worked out the kink. However, the problem persisted and less than two weeks later, his season was over.

He underwent spinal fusion surgery. The procedure didn't take and after appearing briefly for the Orioles in 2013, he was back under the knife for a corrective second surgery.

Reimold hasn't played in the big leagues this season, having appeared in 17 games for Baltimore's Double-A affiliate in Bowie, Maryland, as he worked his way back into game shape.

"I think I've got a lot left to give, even with these injuries," said Reimold, now 30. "I think that I never got the opportunity to reach my potential because I definitely got derailed with these injuries so those are all behind me, in the past, and I'm just looking forward to the future and getting out on the field again."

Reimold is a right-handed batter. In 1,056 career plate appearances, he's a .252/.327/.439 hitter with 41 home runs.

He'll get a look in Toronto, beyond when Bautista returns to his normal spot in right field.

"We'll wait until it happens," said Gibbons. "We got him because we like him so there's a place for him somewhere."

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