Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays still facing uncertain timeline with Jose Bautista

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Jun 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) leaves the game after being injured in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Toronto Blue Jays won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) leaves the game after being injured in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Toronto Blue Jays won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jose Bautista last played on June 16th, but a turf toe injury has left the Blue Jays with an unclear picture of his return date

Turf Toe can be tricky. It’s an injury that has a nasty habit of lingering.


The injury is more commonly seen in the NFL, but it found Jose Bautista when the Blue Jays’ right-fielder collided with the wall in Philadelphia and hyperextended his big toe upwards.

Bautista has recently been able to go without the walking boot he was wearing, but the Blue Jays are still unable to nail down a definitive timeline for his return.

This is the unfortunate nature of the injury, however, and has little to do with the player, manager, or team. One of the injury’s main impacts is limiting an athletes explosiveness when running (as the ball of the foot and toes remain on the ground, bending as the heel rises while running). This begs the question of whether Bautista’s eventual return could be expedited if his re-entry point is as designated hitter, not an outfielder.

Whether that lasts beyond a week or two would rely on the 35-year-old’s health, but even a limited Bautista is a boost to the Toronto lineup.

Another interesting decision could come in regards to the outfielders currently filling Bautista’s void. Ezequiel Carrera has been a revelation this season in many facets of the game, but options remain on the trade market or in the form of Dalton Pompey, currently on the seven-day disabled list while dealing with a concussion.

The organization has taken a slow-and-steady approach with Pompey this year and injuries have challenged him, but if a “long-term” spot in the Toronto outfield were available down the stretch, that could tilt the conversation. Junior Lake currently occupies the depth outfielder role, another spot that could change.

Next: Blue Jays 7th starter? Biagini, Chavez mentioned

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins do not give the impression of a front office that welcomes uncertainties. The likely outcome here remains Bautista returning and performing as Toronto has grown accustomed to down the stretch, but this turf toe introduces an unknown variable that may call for some insurance. Just in case.

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