ANAHEIM -- The American League East has been hit hard in recent weeks with a series of devastating injuries, and although the Blue Jays have avoided problems with any of their stars, there is still a laundry list of players trying to get back into games.
Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria and New York's Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are just a few of the big-name players to go down in recent weeks, but the Blue Jays also have some concerns of their own.
Dustin McGowan, Sergio Santos, Travis Snider and Brett Cecil are among those working their way back from various ailments, but most appear to be turning a corner in their rehab.
"McGowan is an a shoulder-strengthening phase right now," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the veteran right-hander, who was shutdown in late April with inflammation in his right shoulder. "Those exercises and intensity of the rehab will pick up through the next week, and right now we're projected to start a throwing program on [May 17]."
There still isn't a timeframe for McGowan's return to the big leagues, but Snider is nearing game action with Triple-A Las Vegas. The 24-year-old, who was beat out by Eric Thames for the starting job in left field during Spring Training, suffered a jammed wrist on April 26.
Snider is expected to be ready Sunday, when he is eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list.
"Yesterday, he went from a progression of dry swings, to tee, to front toss, 15 each," Farrell said. "So, the symptoms are slowing down but to make sure that there was a full roster, DL'd him just so it didn't feel like it was necessary to force him back but he's making steady progress to getting back to activity."
Cecil, who is with Double-A New Hampshire, hasn't pitched since April 19 because of a strained groin. He is expected to take part in at least one bullpen session before making his return with the Fisher Cats.
The same can't be said for his teammate, Ryan Tepera, who has been shutdown for an indefinite period of time because of a right shoulder injury.
"He felt some soreness in the shoulder," Farrell said of Tepera, who is 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA in six games at Double-A this year. "I don't have an update as far as how long he'll be backed out but I do know that he felt some discomfort in the right shoulder."