Bautista plays it safe

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

DUNEDIN — The bad news was that Jose Bautista sat out Wednesday’s game with tightness in his left quad. The good news was that Brett Lawrie got another chance to impress and succeeded, again.

Bautista noticed some slight discomfort in the muscle while doing drills Wednesday morning and immediately reported it to trainer George Poulis. It was a no-brainer for manager John Farrell to sit him out.

“He just felt a little tightness in the quad and by no means were we going to jeopardize anything,” said Farrell. “We’ll re-evaluate it in the morning but the thought is he’ll be back in the lineup (Thursday).”

Bautista concurred with that prognosis.

“It’s just a little tight,” he said. “Early in the spring there’s no need to push it. I think I’m an important piece for this club and, if I can just rest for a day and not aggravate it into something more than it should be, then it makes sense to do that.

“If this was a regular season game, I probably would have played.”

Lawrie started in Bautista’s spot, batting third against tough lefty David Price. Though he didn’t have any hits, he worked the count full in both his at-bats.

“I was really impressed with Brett today, going against one of the elite starters in the American League,” said Farrell. “He laid off some tough two-strike pitches. He’s got a very clear plan in what he’s doing and you can see the belief in himself with the passes he takes at each pitch. It’s impressive to see for a 21-year-old kid.

“We threw him right into the lineup, a last-minute change because of the precautionary move with Jose and he takes it all in stride.”

Outfielder Travis Snider, meanwhile, out with sore ribs, may start in a game as early as this weekend.

“We’re hoping to evaluate things by Friday with the idea of getting him in a game this weekend,” said Farrell. “We need to see him on the field, probably to get him in as a DH to start.”

Farrell is anxious to get his regulars healthy and play as a unit.

“If we can get our regular lineup together on the field two or three times a week right now would be ideal and the first step in the right direction,” he said.


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