Notes: Glaus slides to shortstop

Notes: Glaus slides to shortstop

TORONTO -- It turned out that it wasn't a typo. The '6' that was listed next to Troy Glaus' name on the scorecard hanging outside Toronto's clubhouse was indeed an indication that the Blue Jays' regular third baseman would be starting at shortstop.

A few factors played a role in Friday's decision, which Toronto manager John Gibbons referred to as a "one-night deal." On Wednesday, shortstop Russ Adams was optioned to Triple-A. On the mound for the Jays was Ted Lilly, who has a tendency to induce more fly balls than grounders.

Plus, Gibbons wanted to squeeze as much offense into the lineup because right-hander Freddy Garcia, who entered the game with a 7-1 record, was on the hill for the White Sox. Besides, Glaus has some experience playing up the middle.

"He's played a lot of shortstop," said Gibbons, who then paused, "in his college career."

Of course, his days as a a member of the UCLA Bruins were nine years ago. In the Majors, the 6-foot-5 Glaus played shortstop just 10 times -- not once as a starter. That's not something that he seemed too concerned about just a few hours before jogging out to shortstop for the first time since 2002.

"Gibby and I talked about it and he asked me if I thought I could do it. And I said, 'Absolutely, I think I can do it,'" Glaus said. "I played it for the first 18 years of my baseball life. I'll go out there, take some grounders, turn some double plays and do some things out there to get the feet back wet."

Glaus added that he has taken grounders during pregame drills from time to time this season and that he and Gibbons didn't view the move as an injury risk.

"If something does happen, I'm responsible," said Gibbons, who noted that Glaus would be removed from short if the Jays held a late lead over the White Sox.

2B or not 2B? The long-term solution for shortstop might exist on the other side of the infield. Second baseman Aaron Hill will begin taking grounders at shortstop soon and could see a midseason switch to the postion he played in college and in the Minors

The decision could be contingent on the success of Edgardo Alfonzo, who signed a Minor League contract with Toronto on Thursday before joining Double-A New Hampshire. Alfonzo, 32, will be given around 10 days in the Minors to show the Jays he's capable of joining the big-league club. If he succeeds, Alfonzo could play second base and Hill could move over to short.

"We'll send [Alfonzo] to Double-A to get him some at-bats and see how he looks. He didn't get many at-bats [with the Angels]," Gibbons said. "In his prime, he was one of the better hitters in a baseball -- a good situational hitter and as steady a glove as can be."

Alfonzo, who has a .285 career average, was released by the Angels on May 20 after hitting .100 (5-for-50) in a backup role. Prior to signing with Los Angeles during the winter, the infielder spent 12 seasons between the Mets and Giants.

If Alfonzo struggles for the Fisher Cats, the other solution for the middle infield may rest in Adams, who will work at second base in Triple-A. Adams could be called up later this season to take over at that position, which would enable Hill to move to shortstop, too.

"We'll just have to wait and see how things develop," Gibbons said. "See how things develop with Alfonzo and see how things develop with Russ. Then we'll go from there."

For now: After the experiment with Glaus is over, Toronto will use John McDonald and 32-year-old infielder Luis Figueroa at shortstop. The Jays purchased Figueroa's contract on Friday and Gibbons said he plans to get the infielder in the lineup as soon as possible.

Figueroa, who is a native of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, appeared in 27 games this season for Syracuse, where he hit .245 with eight RBIs.

Good to go: Left-hander Gustavo Chacin, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, made a rehab start at Triple-A on Thursday and didn't have any lingering effects from his arm injury. In an outing on May 10, Chacin sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and strained his forearm. He's scheduled to make his first start since the injury against the Red Sox on Tuesday.

In 2 1/3 innings with Syracuse, Chacin allowed four runs on six hits, including a lead-off home run to Mets' prospect Lastings Milledge, with two strikeouts and one walk. He threw 54 pitches, including 37 strikes.

"He's healthy. He felt good. That's all you're looking for," Gibbons said. "I've said it before, you very rarely see anybody go down there and pitch lights out in rehab."

Toronto called up left-hander Brian Tallet on Friday to help out the bullpen until Chacin returns.

Quotable: "Don't get used to it and if something goes wrong, don't get used to me." -- Gibbons, on whether having Glaus playing shortstop would be a regular occurance

Coming up: Toronto right-hander Casey Janssen (3-3, 3.46 ERA) will take on Chicago righty Jose Contreras (5-0, 1.90 ERA) at 4:07 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.