Jays hoping Buck can return when eligible

Jays hoping Buck can return when eligible

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are hoping that catcher John Buck will be able to return to the lineup as soon as he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Manager Cito Gaston is not sure if that will be possible.

"I'm hoping that he will be," Gaston said. "He's a big loss to us. Buck's done a good job here for us handling the pitching staff, and also his bat. It's not going to be easy to fill that spot right now. I'm hoping he's back in 15 days. I don't know."

Buck exited Wednesday's game against the Yankees in the fifth inning after being struck on the right thumb by a foul ball off the bat of Alex Rodriguez. Buck suffered a deep laceration that required three stitches, and he was promptly placed on the disabled list.

Buck said he was able to grip a bat with no issues on Wednesday, but Gaston noted on Friday that the catcher will not be cleared to throw a baseball for a few days. Buck, who is hitting .277 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs through 84 games this season, is eligible to be activated on Aug. 20.