Losing three starting pitchers to injury in June was bad enough for the Toronto Blue Jays. But slugger Jose Bautista going down with a left wrist injury Monday night, just as the Jays begin a crucial stretch of games, was just plain cruel.
Bautista grabbed his wrist and writhed in pain after hitting a right-size, wrong-shape foul ball in the eighth inning of Toronto's 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The Jays, who are 10 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East but in the thick of the wild-cards race, play at Boston later in the week.
While no bones were shown to be broken after an X-ray, Bautista will have more tests Tuesday morning and Jays manager John Farrell said a roster move is likely. Farrell said Bautista "felt a little bit of a popping sensation" during the swing in question, so there is concern of a tendon or ligament injury. Bautista made an optimistic-sounding tweet late Monday, saying:
Thanks everyone for your concerns, XRAY negative and further testing tomorrow. #FingersCrossed and wish me luck!
— Jose Bautista(@JoeyBats19) July 17, 2012
Bautista also told teammate Ricky Romero: "thanks bro! Im confident it will be ok tomorrow!"
Doesn't sound so bad, right? Hopefully it's not just wishful thinking, or denial. If Bautista goes on the disabled list, Toronto loses the No. 2 home run man in the majors this season. He has 124 homers over the past 2 1/2 seasons.
Adding to the soap opera, minor-league outfielder Anthony Gose was pulled from his Triple-A game Monday night in an apparent contingency move. Any promotion of Gose means the recent Futures Game star would leapfrog Travis Snider — who also is on the Las Vegas roster, and has had several chances with the Jays the past few years — on the major-league depth chart.
The Jays can't worry about Snider's feelings (or anyone's feelings) right now. If they think Gose is the guy, then he's the guy. But the truth is, no one can replace Bautista. The Jays have been weathering the storm of pitching injuries, but losing Bautista isn't just some slap on the wrist. It would be a knockout punch. It's already a pretty good punch to the gut.