Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay has completed batting drills and is ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment, and if all goes well will return from his hand injury in a matter of days.
Since Overbay went down June 15, infielder-outfielder Matt Stairs has performed splendidly, hitting in the .300 range with consistent power. But the team anticipates returning Stairs to a reserve role after the All-Star break.
From then on Stairs will mostly pinch hit, occasionally relieve Frank Thomas at designated hitter and spot start in the outfield. The plan will keep Stairs fresh should he be needed in the event of another injury during the second half.
Rookie Adam Lind, meanwhile, will benefit from continued play in left field, though he has been something of a disappointment at the plate. So far, Lind has been paying his way with his arm and glove. Lind has five assists and has yet to make an error.
Overbay already has reported to Double A New Hampshire and has been penciled in to start over the weekend.