TORONTO -- Jose Bautista is one step closer returning, after taking swings prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Tigers.
Bautista, who has been out since July 16 with a sprained left wrist, went through a series of dry swings and swings off a tee with a fungo bat.
"He felt very good," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "The next progression would be to put a regular bat in his hand and take the same dry swing, [plus] tee work with a normal game bat -- get into front flips and then ultimately BP. So, today was really an encouraging day for him."
Bautista started with the fungo bat because it's lighter and puts less pressure on the injured area. Now that the first test has been passed, he will be able to continue on with his rehab with the hope of speeding up his recovery.
The Dominican native is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 1, but it remains unlikely that Bautista will be ready to play by then.
"I don't want to ever say no, but it still projects to be a few more days than Wednesday," Farrell said. "But [on Friday], I said it would be Monday by the time he started to swing -- and here he is already off a tee. But he is making good progress."
Bautista is hitting .244 with 27 home runs and 65 RBIs in 90 games this season.
Lind sits for second consecutive game
TORONTO -- Adam Lind was held out of the Blue Jays' lineup on Saturday afternoon for the second consecutive day because of tightness in his back.
Toronto's designated hitter was a late scratch from Friday night's game against Detroit after his back tightened up during batting practice. He remained on the bench the following day.
Lind dealt with lower back problems for most of the 2011 campaign, but the discomfort has surfaced in a different area this week.
"It's higher up, it's in the mid-back," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It seems to be more musculature, whereas last year, in the lower back you've got more of the hip and the facet joints that are down at the bottom part of the spine -- where they came into play last year."
Lind went through another round of treatment on Saturday morning. But the club doesn't have the luxury of being very patient while waiting for word on when he might be able to return.
Toronto is currently carrying just three position players on the bench because of an eight-man bullpen. In order to avoid any potential roster issues, the Blue Jays are expected to make a decision on Lind before they embark on a West Coast trip at the beginning of next week.
"He loosened up a little bit after treatment. But given where we are with eight relievers and a very short bench to begin with, if there's not some improvement as we get through the day, we may be looking at a [stint on the disabled list]," Farrell said.
The injury is another setback in what has been a frustrating year for Lind. The 29-year-old spent more than a month at Triple-A Las Vegas after a disappointing start to the season, but had since begun to turn things around.
Lind is hitting .288 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 24 games since being recalled and had made a return to the heart of the Blue Jays' batting order.
Gose getting acclimated to Majors
TORONTO -- Rookie outfielder Anthony Gose has begun to show signs that he is becoming more comfortable with his role in the Major Leagues.
The 21-year-old received a surprise promotion from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 17 after Jose Bautista went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist. That opened up a starting spot for one of Toronto's top prospects, but it took Gose a little while to settle in.
After recording just one hit in his first 11 at-bats to go along with five strikeouts, Gose entered play on Saturday riding a mini two-game hitting streak and appears more locked in at the plate.
"This is something that guys work their whole life to get to and you realize a dream," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "In some ways, it can be a little surreal, a little daunting at times. But he is a confident guy and he is an extremely talented one. It's evident when he gets on base he can be disruptive. But, yeah, perfectly normal for that kind of reaction."
Gose recorded his first Major League RBI and stolen base during the Blue Jays' 8-3 win over the Tigers on Friday night. He is now hitting .167 (3-for-18), while proving well-above-average defense in the outfield.