TORONTO -- Infielder John McDonald, who went on the 15-day disabled list on May 28 with a strained right hamstring, was 1-for-4 with Class A Dunedin on Wednesday and appears set to be activated from the disabled list, likely on Friday.
"[He had] a very good seven innings, beat out an infield hit," manager John Farrell said before Thursday's game against Baltimore. "He played with no issues in the field. He was aggressive in all ways. I actually talked to him late last night, so we're hopeful he's on track for this road trip."
The plan is for McDonald to play nine innings on Thursday for Dunedin and then join the Blue Jays in Cincinnati, where Toronto opens a nine-game Interleague trip that also includes series with Atlanta and St. Louis.
When McDonald joins the team, the Blue Jays plan to drop a pitcher from their eight-man bullpen, at least for the games in National League cities.
"We feel like we need the extra position player," Farrell said. "We need to have a little bit of speed on the bench. We need to have some versatility when we get into pinch-hit situations, whether or not the game presents a double-switch situation. We need that flexibility."