TORONTO -- The Blue Jays hope to have Jose Bautista back in the lineup for Tuesday's series opener vs. Milwaukee.
Bautista, who has a strained hamstring, went through a series of running drills prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the White Sox. There's a slight chance he could play Sunday, but with an off-day coming on Monday it's likely that the club will wait an additional couple of days.
The Blue Jays are being very cautious with how they use Bautista, because if he appears in a game and aggravates the injury he would be forced to miss an additional 15 days. In this particular case, Toronto could backdate a stint on the disabled list to June 23.
"Trust me, he won't be out there if he's not ready to go," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We want to make sure he's going to be good and ready because we need him for the rest of the year."
The Blue Jays won't really know how Bautista is doing until he reports to Rogers Centre on Sunday. That should give a read on whether there is any additional soreness from the recent workout or if he is mostly in the clear for a return to the field.
Bautista currently leads the Major Leagues in fan voting for the upcoming All-Star Game in Minnesota. He is hitting .305 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 77 games this season.
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.