Some much needed good news came to the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans today as their perennial slugger, Jose Bautista, tweeted that he has received medical clearance to start working out again. Bautista was shut down on Sept. 4 for the second season in a row, for what was declared a left hip bone bruise.
In order for the Blue Jays to be competitive in the latter months of the 2014 season and expect to secure a playoff spot, players such as Bautista need to play until the very last out of the campaign. The Blue Jays are no strangers to shutting down their players, as the likes of Colby Rasmus, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Johnson were all told to sit out before season’s end. This is not what the team or the fans need during their quest for a playoff appearance for the first time since 1993.
Making the MLB playoffs is tough enough even when you have a fully healthy squad. When you lose your All-Star at the end of two seasons in a row, you literally don’t stand a chance at playing postseason baseball. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, losing their offensive leader and voice in the clubhouse is something that they have gotten used to. Bautista finished the 2013 season batting .259 with 28 home runs and 73 RBI’s in 118 games played. If the slugger wants to achieve another 40+ home run season that he is most capable of doing, he needs to play 135+ games for his team.
Bautista serves as the leader and the backbone of the Blue Jays. Although he has been scrutinized for not being able to finish the last two seasons due to injury, he will continue to workout hard in the offseason, as the Blue Jays will find it hard to win without him. If Joey Bats can make a solid comeback and play the majority of the teams games in 2014, he will reach the numbers he is capable of and the team will once again be competitive.