UPDATE: According to Mike Wilner of “The Fan 590” in Toronto, the Jays announced that Bautista was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons and is listed as day-to-day.
8:36 PM: Scary moment in tonight’s Orioles-Blue Jays game.
According to Arden Zwelling of MLB.com, Jose Bautista was hit in the helmet by fastball thrown by Orioles’ right-hander Jake Arrieta in the bottom of the third inning tonight.
The pitch reportedly hit Bautista square in the left ear flap. He was forced to leave the ballgame, but the good news is that he was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Bautista is batting .329/.466/.680 with a 1.146 OPS this season. He currently leads the majors with 31 home runs, though he hasn’t gone deep since July 9.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.