Bautista misses fourth straight game with sore shoulder

Slugger is day to day, will initially come back in DH role

Bautista misses fourth straight game with sore shoulder

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Bautista missed his fourth consecutive game on Saturday night because of soreness in his right shoulder.

Bautista remains day to day and it's possible he will be in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Rays. When Bautista does return, he's expected to start at designated hitter for at least a few games.

When Bautista is ready to play right field, he'll be joined by the recently activated Michael Saunders and the club will then have to decide whether to sit Kevin Pillar or Dalton Pompey in center.

"We just deal with that when it comes," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "You start to plan four, five days from now, things change so fast. We have Saunders in right field tonight, we didn't think when he came back he'd be playing right field, we thought we'd have Bautista there.

"From now until when Jose can play the outfield, we don't know yet, we need to get him back DHing first, make sure he's strong. We don't have a timeline, hopefully by the end of next week he's playing the outfield, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.