Blue Jays: If Bo Bichette sits for the rest of the season, so be it

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays fouls off a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 19, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays fouls off a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 19, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Due to concussion protocol, Bo Bichette will be on the bench until MLB clears him to return. If that means he misses the last week, so be it.

Bo Bichette wasn’t in the lineup last night against the Yankees, and that’s because he’s now under MLB concussion protocol under further notice. That could be just a few days, or it might mean that Bichette misses the last eight games of the season.

And if that happens, so be it.

Don’t get me wrong, even in a rebuilding year that’s been tough to watch, I’m soaking up what’s left of the Blue Jays’ season before a long winter without MLB baseball. Bichette has also become arguably the most exciting part of watching this young team, and I’d absolutely prefer to see him continue the success he’s found at the highest level since arriving at the end of July.

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That said, if he has even the slightest hint of concussion symptoms, but then I hope the Blue Jays don’t even think about letting him touch a baseball again until long after the regular season is over. Quite simply, it’s just not worth it.

The Blue Jays entered last night’s game with a record of 62-91, and are obviously nowhere near the playoff picture. These games are about as meaningless as it gets in the big leagues, and really only serve to help the front office and coaching staff figure out which of their assets make sense to carry into next season. Beyond that, the Blue Jays are just playing things out in a lost year, and that happens.

I can understand that Bichette wants to get back on the field and continue to establish himself as one of the most exciting young players in baseball, but he has to understand that he’s already done that, and a week’s worth of games won’t change anything. I’m not much of a betting man, but I’d put some legitimate money down that Bichette will be the starting shortstop and leadoff hitter in Toronto next season, because it’s as close to a sure bet as I can think of. In my eyes, the only thing that potentially stands in his way of that is whether or not he’s healthy.

Which brings us back to the concussion symptoms that caused the Blue Jays to remove him from Thursday night’s game. Call it precautionary all you want, but brain and head injuries are a different animal than anything else that can send a player to the sidelines. It’s not something to mess around with, and the Blue Jays saw that first hand with Aaron Hill, and more recently with Dalton Pompey.

I won’t claim to be a concussion expert, but I’ve had three myself, and several others in my family have had the same experience. There are minor concussions that can easily be put behind you, but there are others that stick with you for a long time, and it’s really hard to tell the difference, especially right away. For what it’s worth, Bichette looked like he had avoided serious injury, and I suspect that he’ll be fine in the long run, but that really shouldn’t matter here.

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At the end of the day, this is a team that will end up just shy of 100 losses. Bichette represents arguably their most valuable player as they rebuild this roster and look to bring the Blue Jays back into contention, and that’s not going to happen this season. With that in mind, even if Bichette feels great, there’s just no point in putting him back out there right now, even if I’d selfishly like to see him play a few more games before a long winter.

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