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Francisco making progress in rehab stint

Francisco making progress in rehab stint

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Francisco making progress in rehab stint
TORONTO -- Ben Francisco made an appearance in the outfield on Saturday night for the first time since suffering a left leg injury while playing in a rehab game for Double-A New Hampshire.

Francisco has been out of action since May 21 because of a strained left hamstring. Francisco returned earlier this week in a designated-hitter role and so far has one hit in eight at-bats.

The 30-year-old veteran began the season as Toronto's fifth outfielder, but faces a somewhat uncertain future with the club having since explored other options.

"We have 20 days total to get him at-bats at the Minor League level before we have to activate him [or] option him," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We know he's a proven right-handed pinch-hitter that can come off the bench. We have to make sure that [his] hamstring is not an issue."

Francisco originally injured his hamstring during Spring Training and was never able to get completely healthy during his time in Toronto. He has appeared in just 16 games this season, posting a .206 average in 16 at-bats.

"It was lingering," Farrell said of the hamstring injury. "He was having lingering discomfort at times while he was here -- and then when we put him in right field, that's when it really showed up. That's when he finally went down with the injury. So, for him to come up, we have to make sure we give him ample time in the outfield."

In other injury news, Triple-A outfielder Moises Sierra was struck on the wrist by a pitch on Saturday night. X-rays were negative, but it wasn't immediately clear when he would be able to return to the lineup.

First baseman Adam Lind also had to miss some time this week at Las Vegas. The veteran infielder fouled a ball off his ankle, but was expected to return on Sunday.

"He went through full BP, ran the bases, full defensive work," Farrell said. "That was fine, no problems [on Saturday]."

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