04/07/2013 5:41 PM ET
Bautista eyes Tuesday return to Blue Jays lineup
By Evan Peaslee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista missed his third consecutive game Sunday afternoon because of a twisted right ankle.
The Blue Jays slugger originally hoped to be in the lineup, but is still progressing and expects to play Tuesday, when the team heads to Detroit for its matchup against the Tigers.
"It makes no sense to go out there and irritate it, especially with the day off tomorrow,"said Bautista, who was available to pinch-hit Sunday against the Red Sox. "We'd rather play it safe, let it rest, so I can come back Tuesday and be 100 percent ready to go."
Bautista injured his right ankle attempting to beat out a double play Thursday against Cleveland and has received regular treatment since.
The injury forced Bautista to miss his club's entire series against Boston, but if the games were later in the year, he likely would have played.
"We're not in the hunt for the playoffs yet, and we have great players on our bench that are probably starters on different teams, so there's not that pressing need to run out there not being 100 percent," Bautista said.
The Toronto slugger is not yet sure if he will be in right field or serve as designated hitter when he returns the lineup, but he was confident that Tuesday would mark his return. Bautista plans to field fly balls during battin practice in Detroit before a decision is made.
The Blue Jays bats haven't exactly been silent since losing Bautista from the lineup, as Toronto entered Sunday tied for the league lead with 11 home runs.
Gibbons alters lineup against lefty starter
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made significant changes to their lineup Sunday with Boston's Jon Lester on the mound, something that manager John Gibbons plans to do when the Blue Jays face a left-handed starter.
Adam Lind was left out of the lineup as he continues to share duties with Rajai Davis in a platoon the duo, with Lind facing right-hander and Davis facing left-handers.
Colby Rasmus also sat, a day after drilling a home run 468 feet Saturday to help lead to Blue Jays to a 5-0 victory.
"He's got the two big homers, but other than that, he's been a little inconsistent at the plate," Gibbons said.
Emilio Bonifacio started in place of Rasmus in center field, marking his first appearance in the outfield after making three errors at second base in Friday's opener against Boston.
"He looked good. He's got good range, he's active out there. We've heard great things from people who have seen him out there," Gibbons said.
Bonifacio played only a handful of games in the outfield during Spring Training as the Blue Jays tried to determine who would become their everyday second baseman, but the 27-year-old made 100 starts in the outfield with the Marlins last season.
"He's the ideal National League player because you can run him in any position like that," Gibbons said. "That's always been his role. He hasn't settled in one spot because he's so valuable doing them all."
With Bonifacio in center field, Maicer Izturis, who's struggled defensively at third base, moved across the diamond to start at second.
Henry Blanco made his Blue Jays debut behind the plate, catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. That move was expected after J.P. Arencibia set a team record with three passed balls in Dickey's Opening Day start against the Indians.
Arencibia, who's had a red-hot start to the season with three home runs and four RBIs in his past three games, remained in the lineup as the team's designated hitter. It could create an issue if injury forced Blanco from the game, because the Blue Jays would have to abandon their designated hitter by moving Arencibia behind the plate.
Lawrie makes progress, but still needs time
TORONTO -- Brett Lawrie took part in some light drills Saturday, but the Blue Jays still don't have a timetable for the third baseman's return.
Lawrie injured the left side of his ribs while preparing for the World Baseball Classic with Canada and hasn't seen game action since early March.
The Blue Jays were hopeful that the 23-year-old would have been ready to play in a Minor League game this weekend, but that timetable has been pushed back a little.
Lawrie threw from 120 feet, took swings off a tee and soft toss, fielded ground balls and ran sprints at the club's facility in Dunedin, Fla. Lawrie reported that everything felt good as he continues to progress.
The team still isn't sure when he'll get into a game, but he will need an extended rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues after missing most of Spring Training.
Blue Jays claim righty Gonzalez off waivers
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Edgar Gonzalez off of waivers from the Astros on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Gonzalez pitched 25 innings last year for Houston in six starts, posting a 3-1 record with a 5.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 18 strikeouts.
The native of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has made 47 starts and appeared in 113 games throughout his nine-year career, posting a 17-26 record with a 5.84 ERA.
Gonzalez will report to Detroit on Tuesday for the Blue Jays' series opener.
The Blue Jays will place Dustin McGowan on the 60-day disabled list to clear a roster spot for Gonzalez, but it will not become official until Gonzalez arrives in Detroit.
McGowan, 31, has pitched in only five games at the Major League level since 2008 -- all of them in '11 -- spending the majority of his time on the disabled list nursing a series of injuries.
The former first-round pick of the Blue Jays in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, but he did appear in one game for Toronto during Spring Training. There is no timetable for his return.
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.