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Left hamstring strain lands Francisco on DL

Hamstring strain lands Jays' Francisco on DL

Left hamstring strain lands Francisco on DL
ARLINGTON -- Blue Jays outfielder Ben Francisco will be out for at least the next two weeks with a tear in his left hamstring.

Francisco injured his leg during Spring Training and aggravated it in Sunday's game against the Mets.

On Friday, Francisco was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, but there is no immediate timetable for his return. First baseman David Cooper was recalled from Triple-A to take Francisco's roster spot.

"We're going to go on how he recovers and the pace in which his progression is there," manager John Farrell said. "It's a minimum of 15 days, how much longer after that we'll get a better read as we get into the mid part of the second week of the stint on the DL. He's going to be on a seven-to-10-day no-activity [list] to let it rest and heal."

Francisco's injury has opened yet another door for the versatile Yan Gomes. Toronto's utility man has the ability to play first, third and behind the plate, but he also has begun shagging fly balls in left field.

That would provide the club with more options in the outfield during Francisco's absence, but Gomes will first have to prove he can handle the position.

"He has played left field in college a little bit as well as high school," Farrell said. "I know that was a long time ago but he's athletic, he has a lot of adaptability ... and the fact is that whatever's been thrown at him in his career, he has been a quick learner.

"There's no doubt on the arm strength. He has the arm strength equivalent to what a right fielder would have. If that enables him to play a little bit deeper in left to increase some of the range -- particularly on balls that might go over his head -- we can use that to our advantage in this situation."

Gomes entered play on Friday hitting .294 with two home runs and five RBIs in 17 at-bats.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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