Bautista out at least until Sunday
(Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista is assisted on the field by one of the team's trainers after he slid awkwardly into third, injuring his ankle, in the fifth inning of their American League MLB baseball game against the New York Yankees in Toronto July 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)
The Blue Jays announced today that third baseman Jose Bautista will remain sidelined with an injured right ankle at least until Sunday, the series finale against the Yankees.
"He still remains day-today," Jays manager John Farrell said just before batting practice. "It's no worse than last night at the time of turning the ankle. He's been walking in a walking boot. He will continue to work during the course of tonight and tonight's game to get the swelling out of there. Really, it's no more than a day-to-day evaluation."
Farrell suggested if it came down to a decision on Sunday, he would prefer to err on the side of caution, using the off-day on Monday for additional recovery time and returning Bautista to the lineup perhaps on Tuesday against the Mariners.
Bautista had not as of late afternoon Friday gone for an MRI examination of the injured joint, but that would still be a possibility when the swelling goes down.
In early May, Bautista had a stiff neck, remaining on the active roster while he worked long hours with a specialist in Tampa to get back on the field. The Jays are hoping this indicates a high tolerance for pain and that the DL once again will not be necessary.
"He's one guy that you have to fight to get out of the lineup," Farrell said. "In addition to the way he plays, he wants to be out there every day. But I think at the same time, he's going to be smart about it and through the daily treatment, the daily testing that will give him the appropriate information when to put him back in the lineup."
The decision would have to be made whether to DH him when he comes back, to allow him to play third base or to put him back in the outfield where he will be returning whenever Brett Lawrie is deemed ready for promotion. The advantage of the outfield is that there is less change of direction and stopping and starting to put pressure on the ankle.
"It's probably too early to say that right now," Farrell said of any position for his star slugger. "His progress in becoming more symptom free will determine his role when he is going to be in the lineup."
Bautista made himself unavailable to the media until after the game against the Yankees.