04/09/11 12:17 AM ET
Bautista returns after birth of his daughter
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
"It has been definitely one of the happiest moments of my life," Bautista said. "The first couple of days I didn't get much sleep, but the last two days have been alright. The bottom line is I'm here, I'm ready to go, and [start winning] more games."
The Blue Jays listed Bautista as being absent against the Athletics for personal reasons. Bautista preferred the real reason be kept a secret because he felt it was a private matter.
It was also the main reason he didn't want to get into a lot of details with reporters prior to the series against the Angels.
"I just like to keep family matters private, as I think everybody should," Bautista said. "That's just my personal preference, so I'm going to try and remain with the same attitude and with the same idea, so I won't talk much about it.
"But, bottom line, if anybody's concerned, everybody is healthy and everybody's happy."
Toronto went 2-1 with Bautista out of the lineup. His presence will be a welcome addition to Toronto's batting order, though, as Bautista entered Friday night hitting .455 with two home runs in three games.
Morrow, Francisco make rehab appearances
TORONTO -- Right-handers Brandon Morrow and Frank Francisco made their first rehab appearances for Class A Dunedin on Thursday.
Morrow allowed five runs over 2 1/3 innings, while Francisco allowed one run over one frame. Blue Jays manager John Farrell said the results were of secondary importance, as the club is just looking to build up the strength in each pitcher's arm.
"Healthy, I think first and foremost, that's No. 1," Farrell said. "There are really no shortcuts, so we have to continue to take the necessary steps to build them back up."
Morrow utilized his full repertoire while throwing 47 pitches. He is expected to increase his pitch count to 70 in his next rehab appearance. If all goes well, he would potentially then rejoin the Major League club.
"The arm strength was there, but it was a matter of almost re-entering Spring Training," Farrell said. "Making sure there's enough repetition to iron out a delivery, command of his stuff.
"But all of the reports, as far as his overall stuff, was consistent with what we saw in Spring Training."
Francisco is scheduled to make at least two more appearances before rejoining the Blue Jays.
Corey Patterson also made his first rehab start for Dunedin. The veteran outfielder had been out since the final week of Spring Training, when he was struck in the head by a fastball from Boston's Daniel Bard.
Patterson, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, is scheduled to start at least two more games for Dunedin. He could then possibly rejoin the Blue Jays as early as Monday night in Seattle.
"He has no ill effects from the ball coming at him, and I think, from all of us that witnessed that, that's a big step," Farrell said. "Getting back in the box with no hesitation, no fear of the pitch coming at him, and he was very confident in that."
Escobar improving, could return by Sunday
TORONTO -- Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar continues to take positive steps in his recovery from a mild concussion.
Escobar traveled with Toronto on its West Coast trip to Anaheim late Thursday night. He went through a series of physical and mental tests the following day without experiencing any negative symptoms.
As per league policy on concussions, Escobar must go through those tests again on Saturday to ensure there are no lingering effects. If all goes well, he could play as early as Sunday.
"It's a matter of reproducing it day after day so there is no reoccurence or those symptoms reemerging," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Escobar suffered the injury on a collision with Oakland third baseman Andy LaRoche on Wednesday night.
At the time of the incident, Escobar had been one of the most productive hitters in the Blue Jays' lineup. He was batting .474 with one home run and three RBIs.