07/30/12 10:10 PM ET
Blue Jays giving Lind time to heal ailing back
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Toronto opted to place Lind on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his back to make room on the 25-man roster for first baseman David Cooper.
The Blue Jays were originally hoping that Lind could avoid an extended period of inactivity but when the discomfort didn't go away it became clear a move had to be made.
"We've got to get him to the point where the symptoms are out of there," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "[On Sunday] as he attempted to do any rotational exercises, he felt some pain in that mid-back, so before we get a bat back in his hands and take dry swings and BP and all that, we've got to get that pain out of there."
This is the second consecutive year that Lind has been placed on the disabled list with a back injury. Last season the problems were centered in the lower-back area whereas this year it is the middle of the back that seems to be causing the biggest issue.
Lind was sent to Dunedin, Fla., on Monday morning where he will work out at the club's Minor League complex and be examined by a local doctor. There is no timetable for Lind's return and it remains uncertain if he'll be able to come off the DL when eligible later this month.
During Lind's absence, Cooper is expected to see a lot of time at designated hitter while Edwin Encarnacion will continue to assume most of the work at first base.
That's not a big change for Encarnacion, who began the year as a DH but transitioned to first when Lind was optioned to Triple-A in May.
"Edwin's locked down that position, through his own hard work and his own performance he's certainly earned that," Farrell said.
"He's comfortable in either, but the way he's taken to that position, the range that he's shown, the hands he's shown over there, if you watch our defensive alignments against a lot of right-handed hitters, there are times he's 30-40 feet off the bag and still has the ability to get over in a timely fashion, so his athleticism allows to have that additional range."
Bautista's next step will be to face live pitching
SEATTLE -- The Blue Jays hope Jose Bautista will be able to avoid a rehab assignment in order to speed up his return to the lineup.
Bautista, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist, has begun taking swings but has yet to face live pitching.
That's expected to happen in a couple of days but Toronto would prefer to have Bautista remain with the club and take swings in a simulated-game environment rather than being sent to the Minor Leagues.
"We'll see how aggressive and intense we can create some of the live BP here first," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Any available arm that can throw decently, move the cage up, whatever, we'll figure out those ways first. Jose, as honest as he is, he'll indicate to us what he feels most comfortable with.
"Two weeks is a long time without facing live pitching. It has been done before but we'll have to cross a few bridges here before we get to that point."
Bautista hasn't played since incurring the injury during a road trip in New York on July 16. He has taken dry swings, hit balls off a tee and played catch before games, but a return date can't be predicted until he faces actual pitching.
The Dominican native is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday but is not expected to be ready by then. Instead he will hit off a tee again on Tuesday before possibly advancing to batting practice the following day or two.
The biggest test will come when Bautista is challenged with pitches on the inner part of the plate, which would put more tension on the wrist area.
"My gut would say, the one real read we'll get ... is when we start throwing some balls in on him to where he has to pull his hands in," Farrell said.
"What that causes is a little bit of a different finish to his swing. That's where [there is] the turning over of the wrist. We have to make sure every way he has to manipulate the bat, there's no recurring of the symptoms."
Bautista is hitting .244 with 27 home runs and 65 RBIs in 90 games this season. He also has an .894 OPS while posting 41 extra-base hits and five stolen bases.
Blue Jays encouraged by Morrow's first rehab start
SEATTLE -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow threw three scoreless innings for Class-A Dunedin on Sunday in his first rehab appearance since straining his left oblique muscle on June 11.
Morrow allowed three hits while walking one and striking out three. He is scheduled for one more start with Dunedin later this week before making an additional two for Double-A New Hampshire. Morrow threw 26 pitches on Sunday and the ultimate goal is to get him up to 85 before he rejoins the Blue Jays.
"[He] came out of it fine," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who added Morrow topped out at 95 mph. "That number in itself indicates there's some confidence in the way he was going about his intensity. A very successful day and first time back up on mound."
Morrow is 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 starts this season. He also has 67 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings while tossing three shutouts in what was shaping up to be a breakout season prior to the untimely injury.