In a statement that represented both bad news and good news for the Toronto Blue Jays, it was determined that all-star right fielder Jose Bautista will go through season-ending surgery to fix damage in his left wrist that had destabilized a sheath that housed a tendon, causing him discomfort during certain swings.
The bad news is simply that their best player, the 2-time defending major-league home run champion and the key to the Blue Jays’ offence will be lost for the season. The good news is that, after traveling to Cleveland to see hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, there is a certain closure to what had been lingering questions about Bautista’s future health.
Bautista was 1st injured on a swing on July 16, hitting a long foul ball at Yankee Stadium against David Robertson and being brought to his knees hurting at the on deck circle. He was on the DL and twice began a dry swing, batting tee, soft toss, batting practice program that had to be halted then continued.
“It was really a mix of things,” manager John Farrell explained. “When Jose 1st went down and the initial examination first occurred, it was determined at that time that through rest and the symptoms, quieting down thru the outlined program, that to return, the amount of games were prescribed. Baseball spreads
“Without any symptoms on his part, we felt like that after the number of at-bats that he had, at-bats that he was able to get while on rehabilitation, he came back to us. We saw what happened after the 2 games that he played and truly the feeling of instability in there’s what prompted Doctor Graham to make the recommendation to have the surgery.”
“The only way I may have played again this year without undergoing surgery was to do what we probably did, I tried, there’s just too much instability in that tendon,” Bautista explained. “It got to the point where risking injuring the tendon wasn’t worth it. That’s why we are opting to do it now, that way I have lots of time to be ready for spring training and the season.”
Bautista ended his season batting .241, with a .885 OPS. He hammered 27 homers and drove in 65 runs, with 59 walks and 63 strikeouts. Bautista offered a self evaluation of his injury-shortened season that started slowly but had begun to build momentum.
Bautista now has enough time to think about his future and that of the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 3 years remaining on his 5 year deal, with a choice for 2016. He wants to win.
“Offensively I don’t really think that we need much else than what we have,” Bautista said. “Just like has been addressed before, since a lot of injuries have happened to the pitching staff (that) is the most effective way to enhance our club. Obviously that is (General Manager Alex Anthopoulos’s) job and he’ll look for ways to make this club better. I trust in him to do that as best as he can. Going forward next year, which is light years off at the moment, I’m really excited.”