ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays have yet another injury to deal with after it was announced that right-handed reliever Joe Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Smith had been dealing with soreness in the area for the past several days and decided to get checked out. The injury is not considered serious, but it's another blow for an organization that has put 18 players on the DL for 21 assignments this season.
"We're trying to go through everybody on the team," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons jokingly told reporters Monday afternoon. "His shoulder has been bothering him the last few days ... Just rest it. I think rest will do him some good."
Smith has been one of Toronto's most reliable relievers. He joined the club on a one-year deal through free agency and it didn't take long for him to take over as the primary eighth-inning reliever following Jason Grilli's early-season struggles.
The 33-year-old Smith has a 3.41 ERA with 47 strikeouts and just eight walks over 31 2/3 innings. He last pitched on June 14, when he allowed three runs in one inning against the Rays. It was his first time allowing a run since May 26. Tepera is the only reliever who has tossed more innings for Toronto this season, but Gibbons didn't believe a heavy workload was the issue.
"I hope not, he didn't seem to think so, because he has always thrown a lot," Gibbons said. "You never know. He was pitching a lot, that's for sure. If it is, I will take the blame for that one. He was so good, too. Shoot."
Sticking with the lineup
Justin Smoak has emerged as one of Toronto's top hitters. Entering Monday, he led the team with 19 home runs and was second only to Josh Donaldson with a .936 OPS. Despite the impressive numbers, Smoak has been slotted fifth or lower in the batting order in all but 12 games, and it doesn't sound like that's going to change any time soon.
Gibbons said Monday that he wanted to keep Jose Bautista in the three-hole because he believes the veteran slugger is on the verge of another hot streak. He believes the same thing could be said about Kendrys Morales, who has mainly hit cleanup and homered during Toronto's series finale vs. the White Sox on Sunday.
"I'm constantly with our coaches, thinking about how we want to adjust things," Gibbons said. "I can be stubborn and I'm a patient guy. Guys who have always done something, sometimes I like to leave them alone because eventually it all comes out.
"I think with certain teams, if you start juggling too much, that causes more chaos. Believe it or not, because these guys identify with certain spots. Doesn't mean we won't do it, because we've done it in the past, but we're constantly talking about that, especially when you hit those stretches when you're not scoring."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.