Rasmus does on-field drills, possibly back next week

Rasmus does on-field drills, possibly back next week

TORONTO -- Colby Rasmus is one step closer to making his return to the Blue Jays' lineup after going through a series of on-field running drills Monday afternoon.

Rasmus has been out of action since May 12 because of a strained right hamstring. He's eligible to come off the disabled list for Wednesday's series finale vs. Tampa Bay, but he will need a few more days than that to recover.

The first step was running on the field, and Rasmus will slowly increase the intensity of those workouts before he goes on a rehab assignment. The Blue Jays won't commit to a timeframe for his return, but he'll likely be out at least another week.

"He was out there running and shagging in early BP," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We'll see, we'll see in the next few days what happens."

When Rasmus does make his return, the Blue Jays will be faced with a difficult roster decision. Toronto is carrying three catchers, and Gibbons likes this configuration because it allows veteran Dioner Navarro to start at designated hitter vs. left-handed pitching.

That leaves either Anthony Gose or Kevin Pillar as the logical options for a demotion. Both players have been playing well over the past couple of weeks, but offer very different skill sets. Gose is the superior defender in center field and provides lethal speed off the bench. The right-handed hitting Pillar could provide Rasmus with a bit of a break when there's a lefty on the mound.

The Blue Jays will likely have to make that decision in a week or so, and at least for now, aren't going to tip their hand.

"We'll worry about that when we get there," is all Gibbons would say on the matter.

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.