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Blue Jays endure triple dose of bad news

The SportsXchange

Tuesday was a tough day for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Right fielder Jose Bautista announced that he needs season-ending surgery on his left wrist because of instability in a tendon.

Right-hander Marcus Stroman, a first-round pick in the 2012 draft, was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's minor league drug program.

And left-hander Ricky Romero who began the season as staff ace, lost his 11th consecutive decision, a franchise single-season record, despite holding the New York Yankees to two runs over seven innings. The Blue Jays lost 2-1.

As bad as it is, there are some silver linings.

Bautista is expected to be ready for spring training, and doubts about the wrist should be cleared up quickly. It is a better scenario than if there had been a further delay of the surgery. He originally injured his wrist on a July 16 swing at Yankee Stadium.

"I'll be ready with plenty of time to go before spring training starts," Bautista said. "It's the right time."

Manager John Farrell said, "It's a definitive plan going forward. Everything points to this being a three- to four-month recovery and rehab to normal strength, likely a six-month total return, so that puts him in line to be back in games for spring training, provided all goes according to the protocol, which we fully expect."

Romero had one of his better outings of the season in holding the Yankees to five hits and two walks. If he can build on that, he might be able to finish the season on an encouraging run that would make the offseason easier for him and for the club.

Not so good is the situation for Stroman. When he was signed, he was touted as a pitcher who could move quickly through the system as a reliever, with a September call-up to the majors a possibility. The process was well under way, as he jumped from short-season Class A Vancouver to Class AA New Hampshire. However, the suspension will have an impact on his progress. With only seven games left in New Hampshire's season, he will miss the first 43 games next season, not good from a development standpoint.
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