Jays From the Couch looks into whether it would be worth the Toronto Blue Jays exploring a return for Jose Bautista
There is no question this season is not the season Jose Bautista wanted to have. The Toronto Blue Jays power bat walked away with a .203 average, including a strikeout percentage of 24.8, but is that really it? Is that how this chapter ends? I’m not so sure.
Players have had amazing comeback seasons and there is even an award to reflect this phenomena called the Come Back Player of the Year (CBPOY). It happens often enough to have its own award. Some of the winners? Rick Porcello (2016 Boston Red Sox) who also added the first Cy Young of his career. Bartolo Colon (2013 Oakland A’s) and Anthony Rendon (2016 Washington Nationals) were other CBPOY winners. So what if Jose Bautista is next season’s award winner?
I once wrote a piece that called Bautista the Jagr of the baseball world. It was a reflection of the fact that his age was a huge factor when considering the length of contract one could expect, as well as the price tag for said contract. I wrote about his commitment to his training and what he puts into his body. This commitment having the ability to slow down any regression usually felt (or seen) at a certain age. Bautista’s training regiment hasn’t slowed down, nor has it’s intensity changed. In an article for Men’s Fitness Magazine published on June 7, 2017, Bautista outlined his workout regiment as a way to show how he is keeping agile and in shape for seasons to come. In the article, Bautista had this to say about his workout on the off season,
My training workouts have evolved over the last few years quite a bit because of the new developments in the fitness world. We’re basically doing very specific, functional movements for baseball. We do strength and conditioning, then another part is injury prevention. We try to make sure my body, joints and muscles are moving adequately and the right muscles are activating. All that helps with injury prevention and maximizing strength.
The takeaway is that Bautista pays attention, despite his numbers this season. It does seem like the numbers reflect a general bad luck season than true regression, leaving ample room for a comeback season like no other.
There are a few examples of some great catches made by the Blue Jays outfielder this season that did quiet the regression talk – at least for a time.
One even garnering congratulations from Blue Jays great Jesse Barfield:
Wow, I tip my hat to you @JoeyBats19 that was a fantastic catch!!! From from one right fielder to another, Jesse.
— Jesse Barfield (@JesseBarfield29) September 19, 2017
As a player most fans feel should be enshrined in to the Level of Excellence, watching this possible comeback with Bautista in another jersey would be a tough pill for fans to swallow. Blue Jays fans were front and center for the Edwin Encarnacion homerun parade in a Cleveland jersey this past season, and it hurt. A lot. Especially given the season fans were enduring.
The thought that a deal can be made should be explored this offseason by the Blue Jays front office. Shutting the door completely to a Bautista return could very well prove to be short-sighted. So if the possibility is there that a deal could be had, do you take it Blue Jays fans?
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.