Francisco making strong first impression with Jays

Francisco making strong first impression with Jays

TORONTO -- Juan Francisco has made a good first impression with the Blue Jays while filling in for the injured Adam Lind.

Francisco entered play on Wednesday night with four hits in 10 at-bats since being promoted from Triple-A Buffalo. He also has a pair of walks and a triple to go along with one RBI. The sample size is incredibly small but so far he's doing enough to ease the loss of Lind at DH.

Veteran Dan Johnson also received some consideration for the promotion but the call went to Francisco instead after he hit .341 with a .988 OPS in 12 games for the Bisons.

"He's always had a lot of power, he's had some production in the big leagues, bounced around a little bit with Cincinnati, Atlanta and Milwaukee but he's always been able to hit," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Francisco has experience in parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues. He hit 18 home runs in 348 at-bats last year with the Braves and Brewers but was cut by Milwaukee late during Spring Training. That prompted Toronto to sign the corner infielder to a Minor League contract as a way of adding organizational depth.

The Blue Jays likely won't need that many games out of Francisco as the club claims Lind will be back in the relatively near future. Lind, who is dealing with a sore lower back, has been working out at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., and is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on May 4.

"He's doing his treatment stuff down there," Gibbons said. "He's feeling pretty good, he's feeling better so we don't think it will be a long-term deal. From everything I hear right now, I don't think it will be much longer than (15 days) if it is."

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.