DETROIT, Michigan - Jose Bautista's sprained right ankle has healed enough that he will return to the Blue Jays' lineup, as the designated hitter, for Tuesday's game against the Tigers.
"I think that's part of the thought process in DH'ing but more importantly, when you first start back, you have the luxury of having the DH spot and you never know what can happen when you react with a fly ball or something," said Bautista, explaining the early spring weather factored in to the decision not to play the outfield. "Just not risking it is smart and I think I can handle running the bases so hopefully I have some good at-bats today and hopefully we win."
Bautista, 32, was injured in the eighth inning of Thursday's win over Cleveland. He missed the entire weekend series against the Red Sox. The Blue Jays missed his bat; two of his three hits so far have been home runs.
Despite a record of 2-4, Bautista says there's no panic in the Blue Jays' clubhouse as the team heads on the road for the first time this season.
"We're not making up our minds about our start or anything," said Bautista. "We're six games, seven games in to the season, still very early. We haven't been playing up to our capabilities, everybody would agree with that so our focus is on winning each game. We're going to take it one day at a time and we're working hard to win today and we'll take tomorrow when that comes."
Tuesday's game will be played under the threat of rain.