TORONTO - Manager John Gibbons and Jose Bautista have differing opinions about the star player's bizarre decision to attempt a steal of third base with the Blue Jays down 5-0 in the fourth inning of Friday night's loss to the Red Sox.
"I've got no idea," said Gibbons after the game when asked what Bautista was thinking. "It's not smart, winning baseball and I'm sure he won't do it again."
If Bautista's read on the situation is any indication, it seems that under similar circumstances, he would do it again.
"I thought it was a great chance to get two guys in scoring position, even though we were down 5-0," said Bautista. "Obviously, the only thing I regret is that I didn't make it."
Bautista had doubled with one out in the fourth. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a walk. Dioner Navarro was at the plate. It was the first time in the game the Blue Jays had mounted anything resembling a threat. When Bautista's decision didn't work out the inning was, essentially, lost.
Talking through his thought process, if you completely ignored the situation, Bautista makes sense.
"I thought I had a pretty good idea that the pitch was going to be a breaking ball and I also know that the catcher's not the best catch-and-throw catcher in the league," said Bautista. "Maybe my lead wasn't that big. Maybe I didn't get off to a great running start. But I thought it was a great opportunity for us to get two runners in scoring position with less than two outs."
The argument is solid, if you're ignoring the situation, except Encarnacion clearly wasn't prepared. He didn't break for second when Bautista took off for third.
"I wasn't thinking about (stealing) the whole at-bat," said Bautista. "It was just something that kind of just came about. I noticed the situation. I didn't see it building up to the situation or I would have given Eddie a sign that he and I have. But I stumbled upon the thought of it and didn't get a chance to give that sign to him."
Asked if he accepts the risk/reward nature of the play, Bautista was blunt.
"I do," he said.
JANSSEN TO THROW BULLPEN ON SUNDAY
The timetable for Casey Janssen's return from an oblique strain isn't clear. He's slowing progressing.
"Starting to trust it a lot more," said Janssen. "I'm starting to be a lot more active on it. The recovery is quicker. I guess if I'm active on it within a few hours it's probably gone. You wake up with a fresh start everyday, which is nice. Just got to continue to progress and the further we get away from that Montreal date then the healthier it's going to get."
Janssen plans to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. If he feels good, he'll throw another either Tuesday or Wednesday in Kansas City. If that goes well, he'll head back out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
"I'm going to go as good as I can go," said Janssen of Sunday's scheduled bullpen. "I haven't pitched since that rehab outing (April 15). You don't want to just go out there and blow the doors off it. You want to a: make sure your side's ready but b: again, continue to re-train your arm to do what it's supposed to do. I'm not going to be lobbing the ball but it's probably not going to be my best fastball either."
Adam Lind, who's been on the disabled list since April 16 with lower back tightness, is swinging a bat down in Dunedin, Florida.
He could appear in an extended spring training game as early as Monday.
There's no timetable for his return, although Lind is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, May 1, when the Blue Jays are in Pittsburgh.
DIAZ GETS HIS RING
Jonathan Diaz received his World Series ring from the Boston Red Sox and was happily showing it off before Saturday's game.
"I keep saying it's really surreal because of how it all happened," said Diaz. "I was a long time in the minor leagues. I got a week in the big leagues and now I'm holding a World Series ring and it doesn't make sense. There are some guys who've played the game for so long in the big leagues who don't have one and now I'm sitting here with one. It's almost like a dream."
Diaz treasures the ring. It won't be sitting on his mantel.
"I'm going to put it away, man," said Diaz. "I'll probably put it in a safety deposit box. I don't know how I'm going to get it to the States. I'm afraid to have my wife take it back."