TORONTO – Jose Reyes may be ready to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays in time for the start of next week’s seven-game road trip after completing the first phase of his rehabilitation assignment for his sprained left ankle Wednesday.
The all-star shortstop played seven defensive innings and went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and perhaps most notably, a stolen base in single-A Dunedin’s 8-4 win over Tampa.
Reyes will travel to Buffalo on Thursday and is scheduled to play three games for the triple-A Bisons starting Friday against the Durham Bulls.
Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays would “see where he’s at, at the end of the weekend,” but barring any red flags it seems that he’ll make his return to the Blue Jays lineup Monday in the first of a three-game series at the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gibbons tried to cool such talk, pointing out that Reyes “hasn’t played nine innings yet, he’s got to play Friday, we’ll see how that goes.”
Still, before he left on rehab last week, Reyes said, “I don’t want to take too long because I need to be here and not down there. When I start to see live pitching and I feel like my swing is comfortable enough to be here I’m going to come up.”
Reyes has played in two simulated games plus three rehab games, so far. He’s been out since turning his ankle on an awkward slide April 12 in Kansas City.
MORROW ON PAUSE: The latest tests on Brandon Morrow’s troublesome right forearm revealed inflammation, nothing more, with rest prescribed for the right-hander.
The discomfort that led to Morrow’s placement to the DL dated back to June 1 returned after a rehab outing Monday, pausing his progress back to the Blue Jays. There was hope he could rejoin the club next week in Boston, but projecting a return now is impossible.
“Back him off until it calms down,” manager John Gibbons said of his plan for Morrow. “That is it.”
LAWRIE BACK AT IT: Third baseman Brett Lawrie took grounders and batting practice and also did some running as the workload on his sprained left ankle picked up Wednesday.
Lawrie, hurt May 27 when his foot got caught on second base during a slide, was initially projected to only miss a game or two but his ankle deteriorated and he only came out of a walking boot at the end of last week.
There’s still no timeline for his return.