The series opener against the Nationals has been a target that Bautista has been hoping to hit for the past couple of weeks, and it appears as though he's making some progress in trying to make it a reality.
"Yeah, I think he might be out there this week," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said when asked about Bautista's status for the Nationals series. "[Thursday], before we left, he threw out to 120 feet and felt pretty good. So, he's slowly getting there."
Bautista initially began throwing a couple of weeks ago but was limited to a distance of 40 feet. The discomfort was still lingering and that prompted a cortisone shot on May 24. Since then, there has been continued progress that has raised expectations about his return.
The 34-year-old entered play on Friday hitting .230 with seven homers and 30 RBIs with an .843 OPS in 42 games this season.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.