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Tolleson’s vision problems shortens an already depleted Blue Jays bench

Toronto Blue Jays' Steve Tolleson congratulates teammate Jose Bautista


Suffering from blurry vision is not something you want to be worrying yourself about when you step into a batter's box to try to get the better of a pitcher at the Major League level.

It was the reason why in the bottom of the seventh inning of Wednesday night's game, with the two runners aboard and trailing by two runs to the New York Yankees, Steve Tolleson remained glued to the bench for the Toronto Blue Jays when the Yankees brought a lefty reliever into the game.

Tolleson has been suffering from blurred vision for about two weeks so Toronto manager John Gibbons was naturally reluctant to counter the move by calling upon Tolleson's right-handed bat to pinch hit for the left-handed hitting Adam Lind.

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With runners at second and third, Lind could only manage a weak single down the right side off Matt Thornton.

Thornton ran over and covered at first base to take the relay from Mark Teixeira to record the third out and the Blue Jays were never really able to threaten after that, falling 5-3 to the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

Despite the loss, the Blue Jays still won the three-game series two games to one, their lead atop the American League East down to 1.5-games over the Baltimore Orioles, who defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-4.

The Yankees pulled to with 2.5-games of the Toronto lead in third place.

Tolleson, who had laser eye surgery back in 2009, said his eyes first started acting up about two weeks ago when he started experiencing some dryness and blurry vision.

He said he wasn't too alarmed about it, figuring it might have something to do with allergies and he loaded up on eye drops to try to correct the problem.

"The last road trip I talked with the training staff a little bit and said I want to set an eye appointment up, just not really seeing very sharp right now," Tolleson said.

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He said he has gone to the doctor's office every day this week and tried everything from contacts to glasses, but to no avail.

He said he will be consulting with a cornea specialist on Thursday to see if that might produces some answers.

Naturally, the backup infielder said the situation has made him a bit frustrated and on edge, given what he does for a living.

"It's mainly more than my right eye than my left eye," he said. "It's one of those things, I've flooded my eyes with eye drops trying to say, 'Okay, maybe they're just dry.' I don't know why they would be. It just hasn't worked out."

Tolleson's problem has further shortened an already depleted Blue Jays bench that is missing slugging outfielder Jose Bautista, who remains day to day with a sore hamstring.

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