Bautista eyes Tuesday return to Blue Jays lineup
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista missed his third consecutive game Sunday afternoon because of a twisted right ankle.
The Blue Jays slugger originally hoped to be in the lineup, but is still progressing and expects to play Tuesday, when the team heads to Detroit for its matchup against the Tigers.
"It makes no sense to go out there and irritate it, especially with the day off tomorrow,"said Bautista, who was available to pinch-hit Sunday against the Red Sox. "We'd rather play it safe, let it rest, so I can come back Tuesday and be 100 percent ready to go."
Bautista injured his right ankle attempting to beat out a double play Thursday against Cleveland and has received regular treatment since.
The injury forced Bautista to miss his club's entire series against Boston, but if the games were later in the year, he likely would have played.
"We're not in the hunt for the playoffs yet, and we have great players on our bench that are probably starters on different teams, so there's not that pressing need to run out there not being 100 percent," Bautista said.
The Toronto slugger is not yet sure if he will be in right field or serve as designated hitter when he returns the lineup, but he was confident that Tuesday would mark his return. Bautista plans to field fly balls during battin practice in Detroit before a decision is made.
The Blue Jays bats haven't exactly been silent since losing Bautista from the lineup, as Toronto entered Sunday tied for the league lead with 11 home runs.