Blue Jays “hoping” Bautista will be able to return “by the end of the month”

Jose Bautista
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jeez.

I’m not going to pretend that I thought that Jose Bautista’s injured toe was going to heal up in a matter of a couple weeks. Talk to anyone who has had the misfortune of suffering what they call “turf toe” (which I explained briefly when Jose first went down) and they’ll tell you how painful it can be, and tough to manage. Because of this, the timeline for Bautista was necessarily unclear.

Today — a day after Bautista was finally able to take off the walking boot he’d been in since the injury took place, as I noted in our Game Threat last night — the timeline cleared up a little bit. And… well… it’s not great.

As in: it’s what the title of this post says.

As in: the best case Ontario is that he’ll be back for the final two months of the season.

As in: the more likely scenario is probably that he won’t even be back for that.

There are a lot of silver linings here, but none are as good as the Jays actually having Bautista back and healthy right now.

Still, those silver linings include:

  • Having a healthy and rested Bautista back for the stretch drive.

  • Missing Jose during a perhaps the least intense part of the schedule: the All-Star break is next week; the Jays have both Monday and Thursday of the following week off; coming out of the break the Jays face Oakland and Arizona on the road, then come home for series with Seattle and San Diego.

  • Not having to talk about Bautista as a trade deadline candidate — or at least not nearly as much, since there is now that much more uncertainty over what the acquiring team would be getting that — along with the fact that he has 5-and-10 rights that could block any deal, and the fact that the Jays would be goddamned morons to shop him — what was already a conversation that should be moot is, somehow, uh… mooter.

  • This injury, and his sub-par campaign to this point, must be factored into Bautista’s free agent asking price, which might make it that much easier for the Jays to make a realistic play on retaining him. I’m still doubtful that they will — it’s not like it won’t change their evaluation of what’s an appropriate amount to spend on him, too — but at the very least it somewhat validates the decision not to rush into an extension last winter.

So… good news? Not really. It’s nice that the Jays’ offence has hardly missed a beat without him, though. Better get used to that! *COUGH*