Bautista the splendid splint-wearer
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista hurts his wrist after a foul ball during a game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York, N.Y., July 16, 2012. (AL BELLO/Getty Images/AFP)
BOSTON - Slugging right fielder Jose Bautista is still walking around with a splint-cast on his right wrist but he is making progress. Bautista injured the wrist after swinging at a pitch Monday during the Blue Jays-Yankees game.
"He's yet to do any rotational-type work with his hand but he's further along than any of the medical staff envisioned after that swing that night in New York," manager John Farrell said Sunday.
Still, the Jays aren't ready to come out and say that Bautista will be back in the lineup when he is eligible to come off the 15-day DL.
"We'll get a better read once we get a bat in his hand," Farrell said. "Until that time, it's still a little bit of a return date."
Just when he'll start to swing again is up in the air, Farrell added.
"We don't know that yet," he said.
In Dunedin, Brandon Morrow returned to the hill on Saturday and threw a 42-pitch bullpen session.
Morrow's bullpen session had been pushed back a few days when he suffered back spasms last week.
"The back spasms that he sustained on that Thursday when he was set to throw his previous bullpen, he came out of it fine," Farrell said. "Right now we're probably looking at Tuesday or Wednesday as his BP session."
SNIDER GETS THE CALL
On Sunday, the Jays faced Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, which resulted in a shuffled lineup. With two left-handed hitting outfielders in Anthony Gose and Travis Snider, Farrell elected to sit Gose and start Snider in left. Colby Rasmus, who also bats left, was in centre with right-handed hitting Rajai Davis in right.
"Snider will get the at-bats first," Farrell said of his choice. "We're still protecting Anthony (who is 1-for-11 in four games) a little bit. Right I feel like Travis is a little bit more equipped just because of years of experience and at-bats at this level to be able to attack left-handers with a little bit more success."
Snider was the right choice as he went 2-for-4 on the day with a two-run homer and three RBIs.
OFF THE BENCH
Davis has fluctuated between being a backup/fourth outfielder and starter in his time with the Jays. He appears to be the type of player who can contribute more when he plays a couple of times a week as opposed to every day.
"It (the addition of Gose and Snider) puts him in that role as a fourth outfielder but not strictly a bench guy where he's going to get some at-bats as he is today," Farrell said. "Whether it's that sporadic playing time or unscheduled playing time, he has a way of impacting a game nightly and in some ways I get a sense it almost rejuvenates him in a way that he can create some excitement at a drop of a moment's notice coming off the bench."
Davis was at his best and worst on Sunday.
On the negative side, he lost a ball in the sun in the sixth inning for what should have been the third out. Boston went on to score their final two runs in that inning.
On the plus side, Davis was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a solo home run, and two RBIs.