Toronto Blue Jays All Star outfielder Jose Bautista was added to the 15-day DL after leaving last night’s game against the New York Yankees with a hip injury. Tests showed that the Bautista has a bone bruise on the hip but nothing serious. Still it merited a trip to the DL. According to USAToday, Bautista said “I am about 70 percent. I don’t think I’m doing the team any favours by playing with it right now.” He also stated that he originally hurt himself two weeks ago when he slowed up running to home plate, injuring his hip. He now joins fellow opening day outfield starters, Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus, on the disabled list.
Unfortunately for Toronto, the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time as the Jays are making their way through the AL East currently playing the role of post season spoilers. During the two week stretch where Bautista mentioned he had been injured, he’s batted .271 with an OBP of .397, 3 HR and 5 RBIs. Not that I’m a particular fan of Win Probability Added (WPA), but losing Bautista now decreases the Jays chances of winning games by 2.7, which is considered by FanGraphs.com to be Above Average. Losing the 4.0 WAR is what really hurts however. At this time, there is no idea as to who may be called up to take the roster opening.
The Jays will now see a significantly reduced amount of power produced by their outfield, but an incredible amount of added speed. Rajai Davis, Anthony Gose, and Kevin Pillar will now comprise the outfield and that should cover a lot of ground (with the possibility of Adam Lind or a minor-league call-up occasionally filling in.) Defensively, that’s fantastic, but it’s still not going to make up for the level of importance Bautista brings to the line-up. With only three series left against losing teams (Houston Astros this week, Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels Sept. 6th-12th respectively), it should be time to see the Jays start prepping for the offseason. The Blue Jays are currently 57-69 and 16 GB in the AL East and 14.5 GB for the 2nd Wild Card spot.