Notes: Jays shutting Overbay down
Second hand surgery to end frustrating season for slugger
TORONTO -- Lyle Overbay is about to close the book on his forgettable 2007 season. When the Blue Jays head to Baltimore next week, Overbay is scheduled to have a second operation on his right hand, which has been bothering the first baseman for weeks.
Overbay will undergo a procedure to remove the four pins that were inserted in his hand back in June, when he suffered a fracture after being struck by a pitch from Chicago's John Danks. The surgery, which will be performed by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, will put the finishing touch on Overbay's year.
"Lyle's not the same right now," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "His hand is barking and it's been barking for a while. He didn't want to admit anything until the last few days. It comes to the point where you're not helping the team, so you're better off having it taken care of."
Until Toronto arrives in Baltimore on Sept. 25, Toronto manager John Gibbons said he plans on only using Overbay as a late-inning defensive replacement or as a pinch-hitter, if necessary. Overbay indicated that he still feels discomfort in the hand after he makes contact with a pitch, and sometimes when back-handing ground balls in the field.
"The doctors looked at it and said that sometimes the body doesn't react right to it," said Overbay, referring to the pins in his hand. "It's just been restricting me. It's something that got me back and got me healthy, but for the last month it's just been real inconsistent. I just figured we could get this done and not have to worry about it anymore."
Overbay said that he's been instructed to rest and avoid any baseball activities for three to six weeks after having the operation. Toronto's first baseman added that he planned on taking October off anyway, and the rehabilitation time table should allow him to be ready to go once Spring Training rolls around in February.
Since returning from the disabled list on July 12, Overbay has hit just .229 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 61 games for the Blue Jays, lowering his season average to .242 over that span. Toronto is hoping he can return the form he displayed in 2006, when Overbay batted .312 with 22 homers and 92 RBIs in 157 games.
Man Downs: As if the 12-inning loss to the Orioles on Sunday didn't beat up Toronto's bullpen enough, the Jays now have to make do without left-hander Scott Downs. The southpaw is fighting what Ricciardi said is believed to be a case of gout in his right foot, and Downs was being examined by a doctor on Monday.
"He went about an hour ago to go get it checked out," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said prior to the series opener against Boston. "We have to keep an eye on him. We can't use him if his foot is affecting his pitching, but we'll have a little better idea this afternoon."
The 31-year-old Downs has been one of Toronto's best options out of the 'pen this season. Through 74 appearances, which is the second-highest total in the American League, Downs has posted a 2.30 ERA with 21 holds and 54 strikeouts across 54 2/3 innings.
Under the knife: Ricciardi indicated that third baseman Troy Glaus underwent successful surgery on his ailing left foot on Monday. The operation -- a nerve decompression procedure performed by Dr. Phillip Kwong in Los Angeles -- is expected to help Glaus recover from the plantar fasciitis issue that has troubled him all season.
"The doctor said everything went well," Ricciardi said. "He relieved the pressure in the nerve and said everything looks good and [Glaus] should have no problems being ready for Spring Training."
Ricciardi added that he hasn't heard when Glaus is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball to discuss the allegations against him. A recent report on SI.com indicated that Glaus received multiple shipments of nandrolone -- an anabolic steroid -- and testerone at a California address from 2003-04, when he was with the Angels.
Guess who's back? Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan was at Rogers Centre on Monday and is expected to throw in front of Toronto's medical staff this week. Ryan, who underwent season-ending Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in May, has been playing catch for the past three weeks and the Jays are hopeful he'll be healthy and ready to return to the bullpen by Spring Training.
"He's been throwing from 40 feet," said Ricciardi, who added that Ryan will join the team on its upcoming road trip to New York. "The trainers just want to video tape him and see how he's throwing. I think the next step is to get to 60 feet. I guess he's right on schedule."
Record breaker: With his double in the third inning on Sunday, Aaron Hill set a new Blue Jays record with 42 doubles in a single season by a second baseman. The previous mark of 41 two-base hits was established by Roberto Alomar in 1991. Entering Monday, Hill also sat one homer shy of matching Alomar's '93 record of 17 homers in a season by a Jays second baseman.
Did you know? Toronto's Matt Stairs appeared in his 1,531st game on Monday, moving the native of New Brunswick into a tie with Terry Puhl for games played in the Majors by a Canadian-born player.
Quotable: "You look around this clubhouse and everybody's been going through it -- not just me. That's what's frustrating. Hopefully we can get healthy and get back on schedule and put this season behind us." --Overbay
Coming up: Toronto right-hander A.J. Burnett (8-7, 3.42 ERA) is set to take the mound when the Blue Jays host the Red Sox at 7:07 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Rogers Centre. Boston will counter with left-hander Jon Lester (4-0, 4.86 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.