07/17/12 8:45 PM ET
No structural damage in wrist a relief for Bautista
By Chris Toman / MLB.com
Bautista was forced to leave the game in the middle of his at-bat, going to his knees in pain after fouling a pitch down the left-field line.
As much as the injury is a big blow to the Blue Jays, Bautista, along with the rest of his club, feel they dodged a major bullet, as X-rays came back clean and an MRI revealed no structural damage.
"It was a big relief," Bautista said of the diagnosis. "When it happened, you always think the worst. I thought I had torn something or maybe had broken my wrist, but that's not the case and I'm happy to know that."
Bautista said he felt a sharp pain as he was finishing his swing and that the injury was not caused by any other factors, such as a headfirst slide he made to score at home plate earlier in the game. He felt that he held on to the bat with two hands a little longer than normal, and that was what probably triggered the discomfort. Bautista said he put himself in an awkward position by doing that and thinks that his wrist turned in a direction that it is not used to going in.
The plan for the next couple days will be for Bautista to receive treatment and not participate in any baseball activities. Bautista, who is taking medication to alleviate some of the pain, said he will have to avoid his strength training for the time being.
If all checks out, Bautista could be eligible to return from the DL on Aug. 1, but it is too early to determine if that is a realistic possibility at this point.
"It's all about pain tolerance since there's no structural damage," said Bautista, who leads the Blue Jays with 27 homers and 65 RBIs. "As long as you can tolerate the pain, I'm not going to make it any worse unless I do too much, too soon. I'll let pain dictate what I can do, and hopefully two weeks is enough. I'm thinking it will be."
The three-time All-Star was initially hoping to avoid a stint on the DL, but the pain was too much and the possibility of aggravating it forced him to the sidelines.
Bautista feels that the team will be fine without him, but he admitted that he's not looking forward to being a spectator for at least the next two weeks.
"It's going to be tough just sitting in the dugout," Bautista said. "I don't know what I'm going to be thinking about doing or doing during the games. I'm going to be biting all of my nails. I'm definitely going to have to find something to do, but I'm going to be here pulling for the guys and trying to help out in any way that I can."
Bautista joins a long list of Blue Jays on the DL, including starting pitchers Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison. The team has been riddled with injuries, mainly to its pitchers, but no one feels like it is a time to make excuses as the team battles for a playoff spot.
"You just have to grind it out, suck this up and hope this gets better," third baseman Brett Lawrie said. "You can't dwell on it. You have to take a big deep breath, and now we have to rely on some other guys to step up. We have to keep on going out and playing -- that's all we can do."
Manager John Farrell, who remained as optimistic as possible considering the situation, said Bautista will be monitored closely on a day-to-day basis.
"His absence will certainly be more of a challenge for us," Farrell said. "Any time you take one of the premier right-handed hitters in baseball out of a lineup, it's going to create a little bit of a hole.
"Jose is not only an All-Star, but one heck of a player and leader on our club."
Farrell does some lineup shuffling vs. Yanks
NEW YORK -- Manager John Farrell was forced to unveil a different lineup for Tuesday's game against the Yankees after All-Star slugger Jose Bautista landed on the 15-day disabled list.
Rajai Davis was penciled in as the leadoff hitter, which shifted Brett Lawrie, who has assumed the role in the top spot since early June, into the three-hole -- Bautista's normal spot in the order.
Farrell said in no way is the lineup he put together for Tuesday set in stone moving forward. He wanted Davis leading off with left-hander C.C. Sabathia on the hill and had to find a way to keep Lawrie in the top portion of the order.
Ben Francisco got the start in right, batting seventh, while Kelly Johnson hit out of the eight-hole, a move designed to split up the right-handers and lefties with a southpaw on the mound.
With top prospect Anthony Gose being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Bautista on the 25-man roster, Farrell said there are a number of different orders he could construct.
The main thing he wants to do, however, is keep Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind in the middle of the order, and Colby Rasmus and Lawrie toward the top.
Who hits leadoff will be the main thing Farrell has to decide.
"His skill set clearly profiles as a leadoff guy," Farrell said about Gose, who leads the Pacific Coast League with 29 stolen bases. "There is also another scenario where we could run Rajai in the leadoff spot full-time and keep Brett in the three-hole as he is [Tuesday].
"We have some options, some skill sets we can take advantage of. You put Gose's athleticism into this mix, it has a chance to be an exciting group -- provided they get on base and they can do some things athletically."
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.