DETROIT -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons didn't know Don Zimmer well, but he always knew when Zimmer was around.
Zimmer, a senior advisor for the Rays, passed away on Wednesday at 83.
With Zimmer being in the American League East since 1996 with the Yankees and Rays, Gibbons went up against Zimmer's teams often, and Gibbons reflected on his experiences Thursday.
"When he was the bench coach with the Yankees and last few years in Tampa, when you go play those teams, he's always around the batting cage during BP and most guys would try to go say hello and talk to the guy, because he's one of the better guys in baseball," Gibbons said. "He was one of the characters in the game. He's got great stories, he's got great advice.
"Most guys would make a point to go see him. He's one of those feel-good guys. Bob Stanley, our bullpen coach, [Zimmer] was one of his first managers. He was really fun. It's tough for Stanley, tough for the baseball world. One of the good guys."
Blue Jays hope Edwin will be ready for weekend set
DETROIT -- Edwin Encarnacion said Thursday his back is feeling better after he left Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Tigers with tightness, but he wasn't scheduled to play in the series finale.
Encarnacion is considered day to day. He was vague about the injury after Wednesday's game, and it's unclear if the back was bothering him before that, but he said Thursday it was tightening up more each inning.
"It's been better today," Encarnacion said. "I'm taking today off, and we'll see how tomorrow goes."
Designated hitter Adam Lind was in the lineup playing first and batting fourth Thursday, and he's expected to pick up some time at first if Encarnacion remains out. Manager John Gibbons is hopeful Encarnacion will be available for Friday's series opener against the Cardinals.
"He's never had a history of back problems that I know of," Gibbons said. "It's smart to give him a day."
• Outfielder Colby Rasmus took some batting practice and ran the bases at extended spring training on Wednesday. He has been on the 15-day DL with right hamstring tightness since May 15. Gibbons said Rasmus may be able to get into some games in Florida early next week.
• Gibbons said right-hander Sergio Santos played catch recently and should throw a bullpen session in the coming days. Santos has been on the 15-day DL with right forearm tenderness since May 12.
Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.