Blue Jays' Schneider hopeful Espinal and Gurriel Jr. will return vs. Orioles

Blue Jays manager John Schneider joins Blair and Barker to discuss the hope and plans for both Santiago Espinal and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. returning in the final regular season series vs. Orioles, setting them up for their roster heading into playoffs.

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider hopes infielder Santiago Espinal (left oblique strain) and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left hamstring strain) will return to action at some point in the final series of the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Blue Jays play the Orioles in Baltimore Monday through Wednesday before beginning their wild-card series on Friday.

"I think today when we get in, and see what kind of activity we can do on the field, it will kind of tell a lot, especially with Espy, I think Espy's getting close," said Schneider on Blair and Barker on Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Monday.

"Lourdes may be a day or so behind him, he's close too, he's just gotta finish off the running part of it, so hopefully we have every option we would like going into the postseason."

While the news is hopeful, Schneider did mention that their returns are not definite and would be dependant on how they feel on the field in Baltimore.

The Blue Jays manager also discussed how Alek Manoah was always the pitcher who they hoped would open the playoffs, but said the team wanted to keep its options open.

"We'd like to have out options very much open, that was kind of always the plan, if we were in a three-game series we wanted Alek to pitch Game 1 of that series, we just didn't know where we were gonna end up," said Schneider.

The Blue Jays clinched their postseason berth on Thursday, their off-day between their two home series against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but celebrated accordingly after their first win against Boston.

Toronto has a magic number of two to clinch home-field advantage in the wild-card round -- any combination of Blue Jays wins or Seattle Mariners losses.

Watch the Blue Jays-Orioles game on Monday on Sportsnet or SN NOW at 7:05 p.m. ET / 4:05 p.m. PT.

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