4/6/2013 12:42 A.M. ET
Blue Jays use caution in giving Bautista day off
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was forced to sit out Friday night's game against the Red Sox because of a twisted right ankle, suffered while attempting to beat out a double play in the eighth inning of Thursday's 10-8 win against the Indians.
There was hope that Bautista wouldn't have to miss any time, but it was clear Friday afternoon that he would need an additional period of rest after arriving at Rogers Centre.
"Much better right now than when I woke up and got here today," Bautista said. "I still believe that the proper precaution was taken with taking today off and see how it feels tomorrow, possibly play tomorrow."
Bautista said that his ankle isn't swollen and he described the symptoms as soreness, not pain. He was hoping to be available for pinch-hitting duties, but that also was ruled out prior to Friday night's game.
The Dominican Republic native said if the game was taking place later in the season, there's no doubt he would be playing. But with his club just four games into the season, there was no sense risking further damage that could cause lingering problems.
"It's the right move," Bautista said. "It's early in the season, and I'd rather do that, take one or two games off, instead of trying to play on it and have to take a full week or 10 days off.
"There's no pressing need for me to be playing right now, but if this was at the end of the season, and the games were to put us in the playoffs, or we were in the playoffs, I would definitely be playing."
The Blue Jays can ill afford to lose Bautista for any prolonged period of time. He homered in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday, and is showing no ill effects from a wrist injury that prematurely ended his 2013 campaign.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said that should Bautista return for Saturday's matinee, it would be as a designated hitter.
Players offer Farrell warmer welcome than fans
TORONTO -- The Rogers Centre crowd greeted former manager John Farrell with a series of boos Friday night, but Blue Jays players did not share that ill will for the first-year Boston skipper.
Farrell became one of the most despised sports figures in Toronto when he asked out of Toronto during the offseason to pursue his "dream job" managing the Red Sox. It angered the Toronto fanbase, but the players appear to be more understanding of the decision made by their former boss.
"There's no hard feelings. If you polled 100 people, even yourselves, and have your dream job, would you take it?" catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "Darn right you'd take it. That was his dream job, that's where his heart was, that's what he did.
"I understand it, he treated me great, he gave me an opportunity to play in the big leagues and start. It's not the Blue Jays against Farrell. It's our team going to play against another team."
Designated hitter Adam Lind was one of the few Blue Jays players who spoke out about Farrell during the offseason and then again during Spring Training. Lind said Toronto deserves a manager that acts like a true Blue Jay instead of an employee of the Blue Jays during the winter. He also said that Farrell seemed more energetic and in tune with what was going on when the Blue Jays made their frequent road trips to Boston.
The 29-year-old Lind backed down from that point of view prior to Friday's series opener against Boston.
"That was over the winter," Lind said. "We're in the season now, and the most important thing is the game. Not who's managing against who, who's playing against who. The most important thing is who wins.
"We brought [John Gibbons] back. It's his second tenure. I think he really enjoys it here and I know he's comfortable and confident in our team and the way he goes about our business."
Lind, Davis set to platoon at DH
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays appear set to go with a platoon of Adam Lind and Rajai Davis at designated hitter during the early stages of the season.
Lind will continue to receive all of the at-bats at either DH or first base when there's a right-handed pitcher on the mound. Davis will get the start when it's a lefty, as was the case Friday night, when Felix Doubront started for Boston.
The decision to go with a platoon doesn't mean Lind will be lifted for a pinch-hitter every time a left-handed reliever is brought into the game, but it will apply to all starts for now.
"If Lindy's in the lineup, and they're bringing a left-hander in, he may face them, depending on what's happening with the game, the score, his history against that particular guy," manager John Gibbons said. "But for right now, that gives us a chance to get Rajai in there, get him some at-bats."
Lind has notoriously struggled against left-handers during his career. He is a .220 hitter with a .607 OPS against lefties, compared to a .280 average and .832 OPS versus right-handers.
Red Sox's Butterfield enjoys return to Toronto
TORONTO -- John Farrell wasn't the only familiar face back at Rogers Centre on Friday, as former Blue Jays coach Brian Butterfield also made his return as a coach under the new Red Sox manager.
The 55-year-old Butterfield had been with the Blue Jays since 2002 before following Farrell to Boston in the offseason to become the club's third-base coach. Butterfield was the lone steady face in Toronto for much of his tenure, surviving five different managerial changes and working for two general managers.
But Butterfield preserved, and his return was a welcomed one from both sides.
"It's fun," he said. "There's a lot of good people here in Toronto. [It's] good to get back."
Butterfield was in the running for the Blue Jays' managerial position before John Gibbons was rehired, but the former Toronto coach had nothing but high praise for the team's skipper.
"It's a great choice," Butterfield said, "He's a great baseball man and even better man. So, they did hire the right guy and I'm glad that he got it."
Butterfield, who coached alongside Gibbons in the latter's first stint as manager, would love a chance to manage one day.
"If anybody ever thinks enough of me to go in there as a manager, then I would gladly jump at the opportunity," Butterfield said.
As for leaving Toronto, it was merely a matter of opportunity and the job security that went along with it.
"In Major League Baseball, especially as a coach, you aren't afforded the luxury of spending a lot of time weighing your options. You better not wait when a good opportunity [arises]," Butterfield said.
"I love coaching; if that's all it is for the rest of my career until they take the uniform off me, then I'll gladly do that."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Associate reporter Evan Peaslee contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.