TORONTO — Jose Bautista resumed his rehab work Monday by taking some dry swings and then hitting off a tee without experiencing discomfort in his injured left wrist.
The Toronto Blue Jays slugger was shutdown Aug. 1 after feeling pain during a similar session in Seattle. A follow-up MRI was done last week in St. Petersburg, Fla., to ensure nothing was missed during a previous exam, and doctors instructed him to begin swinging again Monday.
There is still no timeline for his return to action, and the Blue Jays will proceed with great caution considering the delicacy of wrist injuries.
“We’re going to go at the pace his tolerance allows,” said manager John Farrell.
Bautista said last week he was intent on returning this season.
MORROW PUSHED BACK: Brandon Morrow is “likely” to make another rehab start with double-A New Hampshire after Tuesday’s outing to make sure the right-hander is sufficiently built up to throw 85 pitches upon his activation.
Morrow, who has been on the DL since June 12 with a left oblique injury, was scheduled to go five innings and 65 pitches his last time out but while he reached the former, he needed only 51 pitches to accomplish it. He’s expected to throw around 65-70 pitches on Tuesday and would be bumped up toward the 85-pitch range afterwards.
“He’s going to need two more starts to accomplish that,” said Farrell. “We’re not going to look to add 15 pitches to get to 85 plus bring him back (to the majors), it’s a compounding effect.”
Adding to the club’s concern is that J.A. Happ isn’t fully built up yet since his return to the rotation, the left-hander fading noticeably Sunday after 88 pitches in 5.2 innings.
“We would certainly feel like we could increase by 10 to 12 next time out, get him into the mid-90s,” Farrell said of Happ. “In the sixth inning it started to show up from a fatigue standpoint, which to be honest with you was expected.
“Having two of those guys at the same time is challenging.”
LAWRIE MENDS: Brett Lawrie (right oblique) is on track for a return from the disabled list around his Aug. 19 date of eligibility.
Farrell said the hope is to get Lawrie into some games, perhaps with single-A Dunedin, later this week or by the weekend.
“We need to get him a couple of games under his belt before he comes back,” said Farrell.
EDWIN SORE: Trying to keep Edwin Encarnacion from aggravating his sore left heel, the Blue Jays have been using their slugger more regularly at DH.
The heel has been bothering him since the end of July and the artificial surface at Rogers Centre isn’t helping matters.
“It’s still there and the hardness in this turf compared to the infield turf down in Tampa and certainly natural surfaces, just trying to manage that as best we can,” said Farrell.