Former slugger Jose Bautista is perfecting a new craft as a pitcher and the Toronto Blue Jays should totally take a flier on him as a potential bullpen arm.
I am as serious as a heart attack, Jose Bautista pitching out of the Blue Jays bullpen, where do I sign up, I am all in? The outfielder is proving he is serious about this pitching gig as he continues to throw with Marcus Stroman.
Stroman has repeatedly thrown down the gauntlet that “Joey Bats” is a legit pitching talent with a mid 90’s fastball and a compliment of secondary pitches that include a slider, sinker, and changeup.
For all Bautista has meant to baseball fans north of the border, the brain trust owes it Canada to offer the “Bat Flip King” an opportunity on the bump. Throw him in Buffalo and see what he’s got, nothing lost if he falters versus professional hitters.
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A number of videos have surfaced of Bautista throwing this offseason and he has definitely not looked out of place. The 39-year old had planned to play for the Dominican Republic as a first baseman and pitcher in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers prior to the pandemic cancellations.
In March, Jeff Passan of ESPN tweeted that he saw a video of Bautista throwing a bullpen session. “Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. ”
You can’t dispute the man’s desire, he could easily call it a career and rest easily off his laurels but he continues to drive forward not deterred of failure. Bautista has 344 career home runs under his belt but yet here he is.
To me, it’s a no-brainer, ink him to a minor-league pact and see what he can do. I would not bet against him. Hopefully, Bautista and Mark Shapiro are still on good terms and the organization would be open to such an idea.
Can you imagine Bautista coming out of the bullpen to face Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers?