TOR@CIN: Bautista leaves after running down to first

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.

Pillar sent out, outfielder Glenn added to roster

Kevin Pillar was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday.

TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar wasn't too happy about being pinch-hit for in the bottom of the eighth inning during Wednesday night's game vs. New York, and it appears to have cost him a spot on the Blue Jays' 25-man roster.

Toronto manager John Gibbons decided to lift Pillar from the game with the bases loaded and one out in favor of Anthony Gose. The two players have been in a platoon this season, and with a right-hander on the mound, Gibbons did what he usually does and opted for the left-handed hitter.

Pillar didn't react kindly to the move when he returned to the dugout, tossing his bat into the tunnel. One day later, the rookie outfielder was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo in favor of outfielder Brad Glenn.

"It didn't help him at all," Gibbons said when directly asked if the reaction prompted the transaction. "This is a team game, you know, there's no room for selfish play. But we've been thinking about Glenn for awhile anyway."

Pillar also apparently had a few choice words when he walked through the dugout before reaching the tunnel. He later sat down before being summoned for a conversation with Gibbons. During that exchange, Pillar also casually tossed his batting gloves while Gibbons appeared to do most of the talking.

"He wasn't real happy, I know that," Gibbons said.

The response presented Glenn with an opportunity to take over Pillar's platoon role with Gose. Glenn is expected to receive at-bats vs. left-handed pitchers, at least until Jose Bautista is able to return from a mild strain in his left hamstring.

Glenn, whose contract was purchased from Buffalo, appeared in 30 games for the Bisons and hit .381 with eight doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs. He began the year in Double-A New Hampshire, where he hit .235 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 36 games.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Glenn, utility infielder Jonathan Diaz was designated for assignment. Diaz appeared in 23 games for the Blue Jays earlier this season, and hit .158 (6-for-38) but did provide well-above-average defense.

Worth mentioning

•  Blue Jays utility man Steve Tolleson was unavailable for Wednesday night's game vs. the Yankees because he has been experiencing some problems with his eyes over the past couple of days. Tolleson, who underwent Lasik eye surgery in 2009, has been dealing with some blurry vision, and while he's tried glasses, contacts and eye drops, a solution has not yet been found.

Tolleson visited the eye doctor every day this week and has an appointment with a cornea specialist on Thursday. He remains optimistic that that might be a simple solution to his problem and that there isn't a more serious issue currently going on.