Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bautista's big bat will be back before long

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TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to have Jose Bautista back in the lineup as soon as next weekend.

The slugger took batting practice on the field prior to Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers and manager John Farrell laid out a plan for his return afterwards.

Bautista is scheduled to join the Jays rookie ball team in Dunedin, Fla., on Monday with an eye on making his way back to the big league club for a three-game series that starts Friday in Baltimore.

Bautista is working his way back from an injured left wrist and Farrell was happy with what he saw in the batting cage on Saturday morning.

"It was pretty close to his normal pre-game BP," said Farrell. "With each successive day of work -- either in the cage or now on the field -- he's feeling more confident. He'll repeat today's activity tomorrow and then we'll look to get him out and get some live game activity."

Bautista has been out since July 16, when he suffered the injury on a swing at Yankee Stadium. He was batting .244 with 27 home runs and 65 RBI at the time.

The Jays are also preparing for the impending return of Brett Lawrie. The third baseman is recovering from a muscle strain in his rib cage and travelled to Dunedin for some rehab work this weekend.

He could come off the disabled list as the Jays set off for a nine-game road trip next week.

"Hopefully, he meets us in Detroit," said Farrell.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 19, 2012 B7

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