Blue Jays Poll: Should Jose Bautista Go To DL?


What seems like a very long time ago, Jose Bautista got caught up in drama against the Baltimore Orioles and tried to throw out Delmon Young at first base. It didn’t work. That error in judgement cost the Blue Jays way more than the out would have yielded. Since then Jose Bautista has been limited to DH duties. Fans are left wondering when he’ll return to full capacity.

We got some insight into a rough timeline for his return to the field. John Lott updated us on Twitter. And, at first it didn’t seem like very good news:

But, as fast as Twitter is able to update, Lott offered more clarification for us. Apparently, Bautista has been trying to manage the issue with pain medication, but it didn’t go so well as it upset his stomach. His shoulder wasn’t healing properly, so he opted to receive a cortisone shot. The inflammation that is causing an impingement in his shoulder  will hopefully be helped by this shot. Other options include exploratory surgery, which is being considered a last resort.

This type of move would mean that he’d go under the knife and, at best, they find nothing and then he has to heal from being cut open as opposed to what he’s doing right now. At worst, they find something that requires more attention. This may sound like a bit much. And, we’re given some good news to help lessen the fear of losing one of baseball’s best hitters:

That’s refreshing. But, when pushed John Gibbons went a bit further to ease our minds:

So, a trip to the disabled list is unlikely and the chance of him DHing for the rest of the season would be “shocking”. But, since the injury happened, some have questioned whether Bautista should have been put on the DL right away rather than dragging things on and limiting him to DH duties. Isn’t it better to have him fully healthy than a one dimensional Bautista?

Which brings us to the question at hand: Should the Blue Jays put Jose Bautista on the DL to heal fully? 

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

On the one hand, you have the notion that if he can still hit, he needs to be in the lineup. He is, after all, one of the best hitters in baseball. And, to prove this belief correct, when put to our Jays Journal group, Eric Elliott offered this: “JB’s 128 wRC+ is among the top DHs in the entire league.” Turns out, Eric has a point: Bautista is producing in the lineup.  Bautista’s OBP sits at .364. While his average isn’t jaw dropping at .215, he is still putting up numbers. He’s walking at a career high (18.8%) scoring 25 runs along the way to go with 7 HR and 29 RBI. So, we get it. He’s an offensive upgrade over anyone else who would take his spot.

But, there is also the argument that part of Bautista’s value comes from patrolling right field. In 2015, Bautista was putting up a UZR/150 of 7.6. He’d been worth 1.3 fielding runs above average. If you look at his replacements, you really get a sense of Bautista’s value. Kevin Pillar has not put up a good UZR/150 in his 26 innings and Chris Colabello has been…um…not Jose Bautista. Now, Ezequiel Carrera has put up a ridiculous UZR/150 of 87.6 in 86 innings. Yet, he’s been worth just 1 DRS. Of the three alternatives, Carrera may be the best, but he’s not th ekind of player you want to rely on for an extended period of time.

This is why it is curious that the Blue Jays waited so long to give Bautista a cortisone shot. If there is no structural damage, then perhaps the needle and time are all he needs. Would a trip to the DL help? We also need to remember that if Bautista is DHing, that limits what John Gibbons can do with the lineup. As we see tonight, Edwin Encarnacion will need time in the DH spot, which takes Bautista out of the lineup anyway.

So, I put it to you, our readers. Take our poll below. Leave your thoughts in the comment section.