TORONTO -- There has been some improvement in the condition of Jose Bautista's left hamstring, and the hope remains that he will not require a stint on the disabled list.
Bautista was held out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game on Wednesday night after he suffered a mild strain earlier in the week. The fact that he didn't start any games vs. the Yankees didn't come as a surprise, and the real test will come this weekend vs. the White Sox.
If the discomfort continues to linger, there's still a chance he will hit the DL, but for now, that's not something the team expects to do.
"He's getting better, he feels better," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We want to make good and sure he's ready to go. ... He's making progress."
Bautista is hitting .305 this season and leads the American League with a .433 on-base percentage. He also has 15 homers and 49 RBIs, with a .959 OPS.
The first priority is getting Bautista onto the field to help the Blue Jays in their quest to remain on top of the standings in the AL East. Bautista also will certainly want to be healthy for the upcoming All-Star Game after he was recently named the captain of the AL for the Home Run Derby. Bautista led the Major Leagues in fan votes when the latest round of ballots were released Sunday night.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
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.