Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet has an interesting piece up in which he speaks with Jose Bautista about a variety of topics — his love for Toronto, his relationship with Booster Juice and his business plans, etc. — which you should totally read the entirety of if you’re a fan at all of the Jays’ best player, even though I’m totally going to give away the nut right now (and, frankly, already did in the title): Bautista is confident that his wonky hamstring is better, and that he’ll be in the starting lineup Tuesday when the Jays host the Brewers for two games, before heading out on a daunting pre-All-Star Break road trip to Oakland, Anaheim, and their own personal house of horrors (non-Yankee Stadium division), Tampa Bay.

Money paragraphs:

“(There’s been) a lot of progress. When you have this type of injury, the most important thing is to relax and get downtime to let it heal and recover. That’s what I’ve had to do, but (with) a lot of treatment at the same time,” he said at the opening of a Booster Juice location that he now owns in Toronto’s Bloor West Village Monday.

“Now it’s feeling much better and obviously it’s not 100 percent yet, but it’s good enough to at least DH for the next couple of games and then we’ll see from there.”

Once Bautista returns to the starting lineup, he’ll see how it responds and confer with manager John Gibbons to determine if full or partial days off are required.

Bautista also tells Ben that he’s “close to 100%” and could play in right field, if needed. And… well… that might be needed. The Jays face a pair of right-handers, Polo Erik and Wile E. Peralta, meaning that Bautista at DH would force either Adam Lind or Edwin Encarnacion out of the lineup, unless Edwin makes a pair of rare starts at third base (which he totally should do, FYI).

The Jays have averaged 4.4 runs per game in the eight contests he’s been out of (including the June 22nd game at Cincinnati in which he originally left injured), so despite perceptions to the contrary, it’s not like they’ve needed him too desperately over the past week, except… well… they’ve totally needed him. Three of the Jays’ last five games were lost by a run or less, and a fourth saw the club down by just two runs until the top of the ninth. Bautista doesn’t turn all those results over by himself, but an extra bat — and one that’s owned by the man who is second to only Mike Trout in wRC+ in the American League — sure would have helped.

This, then, is very, very good news for the struggling Jays. Um… obviously.

Comments (53)

  1. I love his leadershipy leadership!

    • No more talk of trading Bautista, please

      • I marvel that people who suggest such a thing are able to successfully operate a computer.

        “Trade Bautista for some starting pitching.” OK, fine…then what do we do with the gigantic whole in the middle of our lineup, chuckles?

      • Why not trade Bautista? It’s a proud tradition amongst Toronto fans of all sports to advocate for getting rid of the best players on a team and to fall in love with marginal players just ’cause — gosh darn it! — they’re swell guys and no one can replace a team’s heart and soul.

  2. That first sentence made me think Ben-Nicholson Smith had the business plans for a moment.

  3. Can he pitch?

  4. Adam Lind in left field to fit Bautista in at DH while keeping Francisco in the lineup against righties! Melky to right!

    At the very least that would be extremely entertaining. I’m just picturing that marvellous ginger cat blowing in the wind as Lind attempts to chase down line drives. It would be glorious!

  5. is Edwin at third that different than Juan?
    Rifle Arm, questionable glove, not overly quick

  6. Nice write up.

    I agree. With Bautista in the lineup this past weekend the Jays would have had 2-3 extra runs and that would have made a difference in the close games.

    This is fun.

    Go Jays.

  7. Very nice article, it’s gets depressing reading some of these doom and gloom desk jockeys. I’m apprehensive about the strong possibility of trades coming but than I think of the Alomar and Carter trade and I’m hoping for the best.

  8. Hey stoets: “losses by a run or less”. Are losses measured in half games now or something? ( Smirk_)

  9. I am loathe to be “that girl” but Jose is pretty much it.

  10. Nice article.

    Rajai Davis just hit a walk-off grand slam to win for the Tigers over the A’s. Just reminiscing, but considering all of the struggles we’ve had to find a decent righty batter off the bench and to fill in the OF, thinking how nice it would have been to have Rajai back on our bench instead of the cast of thousands (Pillar, Mastrioanni, Glenn, Kratz, etc.) who have been trying to be that RH off the bench or fill-in against lefties. In particular, this season he’d have fit in really well as a piece of the puzzle moreso than in past years.

    C’est la vie.

    • They simply cannot afford that luxury. 10 mill over 2 I think. It would be a nice trade off if Gose was actually good

    • Masterbateroni can go fuck himself after that attempted advance on a pop foul to the catcher

    • Rajai was looking for a starting job too.

      • Yanks lose in 12, 4-3

      • Oh, I know he was looking for more money than what the Jays were willing to give and that he wanted a starting job – I don’t begrudge him for that in the least bit, but just thinking about how perfectly he’d fit on the current roster as constructed. The Jays might be 2-3 games better in the standings now as there’s been moments where a situation screamed for Rajai or a couple of one-run losses against lefties could potentially have been turned around.

        • @Travis Snider

          +1. I always liked Rajai. He was the guy who could win games in left innings as a pinch runner or hitter. the Jays could not afford to keep him.

          I wonder if Rogers will let AA make any significant moves that add payroll before the deadline.

          I hope that Rogers realizes that this year is the best chance the Jays have had in 20 years to actually be in a pennant race come September.

          I don’t think the team ‘s current roster is strong enough to win the division.

          Waiting for Morrow is not the solution.

          • last not left innings

          • People keep saying stuff like this. Which AL East team currently has a stronger roster/fewer holes? I agree that even small upgrades could make this a much stronger team, but it’s not like the divisional competition is all that impressive.

            • @Philbert.

              As it stands the Jays are tied in the loss column with Baltimore. I don’t trust this roster & manager which has virtually no playoff experience to beat out the Yankees & orioles in September.

              AA needs to upgrade the pitching staff 7 second base.

          • Waiting for Morrow would be like waiting for Godet ( see Samuel Beckett)

    • And that walk-off grand slam to win was off a lefty. Cuz that’s what Rajai does.

    • I agree, Rajai would have been the perfect fit for this team. Starting against lefties, allowing any of the three starting outfielders a Yankee style day off as a DH. I don’t know how interested the Tigers are in letting him go, but it does raise a good question. Can the Jays find a capable/strong fielding OF who mashes lefties and doesn’t love the O’s and hate the Jays (Steve Pearce can kiss our collective purple…)?

      I really don’t know what’s out there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a piece that could be acquired without dealing away too much depth. Sure it’s exciting to pick up a great starter, but the Jays have a bunch of capable starters who won’t cost the farm to keep sending them out every 5 days. Our DH against LHP is either the virtually guaranteed 0 for 4 from Lind or Francisco, or comes at the cost of Navarro getting a valuable day off.

      This won’t solve every problem, but it does seem like an attainable part with a limited cost.

  11. Woo! and a hoo! Yanks are as bad as we are currently

  12. Seriously fuck these Orioles. They’re feeling pretty sorry for themselves.

    • I couldn’t even watch the whole thing it was so pathetic.

      You threw a bat you douche!

      I’d been indifferent toward the Orioles until now.

      • Machado is kind of like the new A-Rod in terms of my dislike, which is funny because I think that was one of his draft comparisons

        • This guy is my least favorite person in baseball now. Watching that series made me want to punch his face in. His stupid ears, his lack of remorse, smirking when questioned by the reporters…Buck has done the best he could by not really saying too much in his defense and the expected of not throwing him under the bus.

          The guys is an out and out fuck face. Cries because he was tagged. Starts chirping at anyone that will listen. Smacks the catcher a couple times and laughs it off. Throws his bat and whines he has to miss “important” games and he can’t help his team. Heres an idea stop being a fuckhead and act like a normal person. And stop letting people make excuses for you like a child. Oh the pressure. Oh the immaturity. Boo fucking hoo. Cause Mike Trout who has no pressure is doing the same shit. Even asshole Bryce Harper acts classier if thats possible.

  13. Sanchez went 7 last night on 83 pitches, gave up 3 runs and struck out 2. 1 walk, a wild pitch, a hit batter, and a balk, all of which came in his last inning. He was doing really well until his last two innings. Another good sign as we’ve heard Sanchez can do, 14 ground ball outs to 2 fly outs.

    Left with the lead but Cecil gave up a homer to blow that and Ayala blew the game but we only care about the first two names

    • Nice about Sanchez but wtf is Cecil doing giving up HRs to AAA guys?

      • He’s definitely not what he was last year, although, it was his first rehab outing, so he could’ve just been trying to throw a lot of strikes and get a feel for everything

  14. I’m not Jose Bautista, and I don’t have his hamstrings, but I’ve tweaked my hammies on more than one occasion. Getting back to playing ball as soon as they felt better was a recipe for a more extended injury layoff. Ideally Jose is no rushing back, just so he can help the team, because if he is, he’s at risk for costing us his services for a longer period of time. Considering the Jays are facing right handed starters now, does it really even pay for him to start at DH? This is going to cost us Lind’s (or Encarnacion’s) bat in the lineup. As amazing as Jose is, this is not a huge upgrade against RHP. I just hope he’s fully healed.

    Another thought…should Jose consider playing some 3rd again?
    -Playing 3rd should be easier on the hamstrings
    -He’s a defensive upgrade over Francisco
    -Allows Gose/Pillar (if he’s ever allowed to sniff MLB astroturf again) to platoon in right, which is a defensive upgrade over Jose.
    OR if the current plan is to protect his legs by DHing him, it…
    -Keeps Lind’s bat in the lineup against RHP

    -Takes away Juan Francisco’s bat…although this might not be such a bad thing anymore.
    -Jose’s back might act up with the different throwing motion (we can’t afford this)
    -Jose has complained about this move in the past (although having watched Lawrie switch positions for the team, he might have a different take on it than he did in the past.)

    • Today it seems kind of dumb since it’s just benching Lind but it will feel smarter when they head off to Oakland to face 3 lefties..I woulda just kept him on the bench today though for a PH and played Lind

    • You’re not the first to suggest this for JB.Everything you point out is logical but for me, I think the cons outweigh the pros.
      JB stays in RF.

  15. Happy Canada Day!

  16. Lyle Overbay!

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