Jose Bautista is finally making steady progress in his rehabilitation from left wrist inflammation.
According to Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet, the slugger was able to take live batting practice off Blue Jays manager John Farrell on Thursday at Rogers Centre in Toronto and is on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment early next week.
Bautista will spend Friday in recovery mode before participating in normal pregame workouts with his teammates on Saturday and Sunday. If he’s still feeling strong at that point, he should get clearance to head to one of the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates on Monday or Tuesday.
“Joey Bats” has been out of commission since mid-July. He has an .894 OPS and 27 homers this season.
The Yankees placed Nestor Cortes on the 15-day injured list with a left rotator cuff strain that will sideline the left-hander for at least two starts.
The move is retroactive to Monday and Cortes will be shut down for at least 15 days.
After Tuesday’s game, Cortes said the shoulder has been bothering him between starts and more so after he pitched five innings May 30 in Seattle.
“I took two days off and when I got to LA and threw that first day, I didn’t feel right,” Cortes said Tuesday. “But it was first day coming back from pitching so I knew it was going to be nagging a little bit. So I waited a little bit.
“That second day in LA was when I said something because it felt like I had pitched yesterday. So I wasn’t recovering in time.”
Cortes is 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts and has particularly struggled later in outings. Opponents are hitting .447 when facing him for the third time in a game.
Last year, Cortes was an All-Star and went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts.
Randy Vásquez was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to take Cortes’ spot in the rotation and will make his second career start in Thursday’s doubleheader. Vásquez made his major league debut May 26 against San Diego when the Yankees needed a starter because Domingo Germán was serving a 10-game suspension for using sticky substances.