No player is untouchable, which includes Jose Bautista.
The Toronto Star reported on Wednesday that Jose Bautista has been shut down for the remainder of the 2013 season with a bone bruise in the neck of his left femur. That of course, is the right play in this situation. The Toronto Blue Jays are miles out of playoff contention, and there is no reason to risk any further injury.
The two-time American League Home run champion has had two subpar years in a row when compared to 2010-2011.
Bautista, who was a relative unknown when J.P. Ricciardi acquired him in 2008 for Robinzon Diaz, quickly became one of the best home run hitters in the game after going deep 54 times in 2010. Nothing could stop Joey Bats.
He signed a five-year contract extension worth $64 million before the 2011 season and proceeded to lead the league in home runs with 43 and Ruthian like 1.056 OPS.
Unfortunately for the Jays and the fans, injuries have riddled Bautista over the past two seasons limiting him to what he can do on the field and at the plate.
Aside from the injuries, pitchers are taking a different approach when they're facing him. This year he saw fewer fastballs than ever before (30.4 percent), according to Fan Graphs, and a higher amount of breaking pitches. With two strikes, Bautista will see a curveball 35 percent of the time, according to Brooks Baseball, an increase of three percent from the year before.
That may not seem like a lot, but the 48 strikeouts compared to 28 last year is. He's also been in a two strike count 74 more times than last year. His power numbers are almost identical, but the underlying factor remains; pitchers have adapted, and another 50 home run season may not be seen again.
The Jays' season is not what anyone has expected, and the rumours flying around say that the team will remain intact for next season? A slow start out of gate next year could warrant changes, though changes in the off-season wouldn't surprise anyone.
Bautista will be 34 next season, and players don't necessarily get better with age. A select few defy the odds, but the law of averages will always win out.
Will Bautista be a Jay next year? That's quite possible, but it's also quite possible he won't.
General Manager Alex Anthopoulos does have a habit of pulling off unprecedented trades.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.