6/4/2013 10:14 P.M. ET
Reyes reports good progress with sprained ankle
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jose Reyes' sprained left ankle continues to improve and it's possible he could begin a rehab assignment within a couple of weeks.
Toronto's shortstop has been traveling with his team for the past two weeks and going through daily strengthening drills.
Reyes has been running the bases every two days while also taking part in some batting practice and light fielding drills. It's the first step toward a return, and when the ankle gains a little more strength, he'll be sent to extended spring training in Florida.
"It's close, not that far away," Reyes said Tuesday afternoon. "The biggest thing is to be able to go out and run the bases on back-to-back days and go from there. If I'm able to do that, even if I'm not 100 percent I feel like I can help this ballclub.
"Even at 85 to 90 percent, I'm going to be on the field and I'll go to do my assignment and get back here as soon as possible."
Reyes has been out since he suffered a severely sprained ankle while stealing second base during a game against the Royals on April 12. He was originally expected to be out until the All-Star break but it now appears as though he could be back before the end of June.
That would come as very positive news for a Blue Jays team that clearly has missed his presence at the top of the lineup. It would give the club another player with an ability to reach base on a semi-regular basis in front of the likes of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Reyes still feels some weakness in the area but a lot of the pain has dissipated and he should be ready to increase the intensity of his workouts in the near future.
"It's going quicker than I thought," Reyes said. "It's not even two months. Nobody is going to be running around any sooner because that ankle sprain was bad. It was not easy and I just thank God that I am able to be running around so soon."
Reyes has been told by doctors to wear a left-ankle brace for the rest of his career. In theory, that could be troublesome for a player who relies on agility and speed but Reyes said it hasn't been obstructive during his recent workouts.
The Dominican Republic native likely will require a significant amount of time in rehab games prior to his official arrival in Toronto. The Blue Jays learned the hard way in April that rushing someone to the big leagues can have a negative impact on his timing at the plate. Third baseman Brett Lawrie appeared to make a premature return and it clearly played a role in his early-season offensive struggles.
Patience will be key but it's clear a lot of progress already has been made.
"Been swinging the last week or so, the swing is good," said Reyes, who hit .395 in 10 games this season. "I've been taking ground balls, too. Today it's going to be ground balls off to the side to see how I feel moving [laterally].
"It's going to be another step for me, moving around on the field ... going into the hole, throw to first and go to the bag and turn a double play. That's going to be huge because things happen so quickly in a baseball game. I need to be ready for that."
Ortiz surprisingly doesn't have torn elbow ligament
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Blue Jays received some shocking news Tuesday afternoon when it was revealed that Ramon Ortiz does not have a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.
Ortiz underwent an MRI earlier in the day and the results did not show a tear in his right elbow. The news comes just two days after Ortiz departed his start vs. San Diego in the third inning with what appeared to be a severe injury.
The 40-year-old will undergo more tests when swelling in the area subsides, but for now the injury does not appear to be nearly as severe as first thought.
"It shocked me," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the news while adding the two have exchanged text messages.
"He has been around a long time and he has been healthy. He has never experienced anything like that as far as I know of. He threw that one pitch, these guys all know when something goes wrong in there. Hopefully it's something he can heal from."
Ortiz was facing Padres third baseman Chase Headley when he threw a pitch and immediate felt severe discomfort in his right elbow. He slammed his glove to the ground and left the field in tears thinking that his career had possibly just come to an end.
There's still no guarantee Ortiz will be able to make it back, but the outlook is a lot more positive than it was a couple of days ago. The news was embraced inside Toronto's clubhouse as most people originally feared the worst.
The hope now is that Ortiz can control his own fate as opposed to having his career automatically end because of what transpired on the field.
"He's a tremendous competitor, team guy that wants to win," Gibbons said. "All these guys, everybody who has played the game, they reach that point in their career when they know it's coming to an end, sooner or later you have to give it up. That's one thing you always fear is an injury leading to that."
Davis off DL after working on leg strength
SAN FRANCISCO -- Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday night's game against the Giants.
Davis had been out since May 10 with a strained oblique muscle but while speaking with reporters he also admitted that there was some discomfort in his legs as well.
"I learned a lot about my body, you know, what my body needs to kind of stay healthy," Davis said. "Just being tight, stronger with my lower half. Trying to find some exercises that will help me. We did find some exercises that help me and hoping they will help me for a long time."
The Blue Jays cleared space for Davis on Monday when right-hander Mickey Storey was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. The move gives the Blue Jays an additional position player on the bench during Interleague Play, while it's possible outfielder Anthony Gose will be returned to the Minors when the club returns home Friday.
Davis entered play Tuesday night hitting .284 with one homer and four RBIs while stealing eight bases in 26 games this season. He'll resume his role as a backup at all three outfield positions.