Overbay exits game, but hand is fine

Overbay leaves game, but hand is fine

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston removed Lyle Overbay in the sixth inning of Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Red Sox due to concerns about some mild discomfort in the first baseman's right hand.

"Lyle's hand is a little sore, but it's nothing serious," Gaston said. "He can probably play on Tuesday. It's a little weak. It's nothing big -- it's just a little weak. That's all."

Overbay had his right hand broken by a pitch from White Sox left-hander John Danks on June 3 last season. The first baseman -- signed with Toronto through 2010 -- underwent two operations on the hand last year and has dealt with soreness off and on throughout this season.

Overbay said that his removal from Sunday's game was solely Gaston's decision. The first baseman downplayed the seriousness of the injury and noted that he didn't ask to be taken out of the game. Gaston replaced Overbay at first base with Jose Bautista in the sixth inning.

"It's just tired, sore -- nothing out of the ordinary," Overbay said. "I think Cito just wanted to get me out of there -- I didn't ask to be taken out. It's not any worse than it has been the last week, two weeks or the whole year.

"They're just tired of my act, I guess," he added with a laugh.

In 153 games this season, the 31-year-old Overbay has hit .276 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles and 68 RBIs for the Blue Jays. Since the injury, Overbay hasn't performed at the same level as he did for Toronto in 2006, when he hit .312 with 22 homers, 46 doubles and 92 RBIs in 157 games.

"Pitches that I'm looking for," Overbay said, "I'm still not getting to where I want to be. It's frustrating."

Following that showing three seasons ago, Toronto signed Overbay to a four-year extension worth $24 million. Overbay -- acquired from the Brewers in a five-player trade in December 2005 -- is under contract for $5.8 million this season and is scheduled to make $7 million in each of the next two seasons.

Overbay said he was "kind of" surprised to be removed from the game against Boston.

"But, [Gaston] sees it out there," Overbay said. "If you don't put a good swing on it, he's kind of wondering. That was the reasoning, I guess."

In the seventh inning, Gaston also removed third baseman Scott Rolen, opting to move Bautista to third and sending Brad Wilkerson to first base. Gaston said the move was simply to give Bautista more playing time at third, and Rolen noted that his left shoulder -- the culprit behind a stint on the disabled list in August -- was fine.

Jordan Bastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.