Bautista, Goins progressing in recovery

Bautista, Goins progressing in recovery

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista is slowly but surely on the path to recovery from a hyperextended big toe on his left foot. He has begun to hit off a tee in his rehab.

Bautista has been out since June 16, when he banged his toe on the right-field wall while trying to make a catch in Philadelphia. He was placed in a walking boot, but that has since been removed and his rehab program is gradually increasing.

Toronto does not have an exact timeline for Bautista's return, but it won't happen immediately after the All-Star break. A more realistic scenario would see Bautista return at some point closer to the end of July.

"Hopefully, maybe the end of the month," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I'm just throwing that out there, I don't know for sure. But it's moving in that direction, a little bit."

Bautista, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, is batting .230 with a .360 on-base percentage in 65 games this season. He also has 12 home runs and 41 RBIs, with an .815 OPS.

Goins on the mend

Toronto infielder Ryan Goins began a throwing program on Saturday, and is getting closer to a return. Goins experienced some tightness in his right forearm during a rare pitching appearance in 19-inning loss to the Indians on July 1.

Goins induces double play

Goins has been fielding grounders for the last week, but he did not resume throwing until Saturday -- when he made approximately 40 tosses to Blue Jays head trainer George Poulis.

Stroman likely to get nod

Toronto has yet to officially announce the order of its rotation after the All-Star break, but it appears Marcus Stroman will start the first game of the second half.

Stroman's winning start

Stroman allowed two runs over eight strong innings during his last start against the Royals on Wednesday. He's expected to take the mound again on July 15, and it will be his normal turn through the rotation. But this outing will come on an extra four days' rest.

"We haven't officially decided," Gibbons said. "It will probably be Stroman that first night in Oakland. That should give you guys enough."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. 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.