Jose Bautista is unlikely to return from the disabled list when he’s first eligible on Wednesday, but he’s making progress.
Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Bautista swung a bat today for the first time since injuring his left wrist on a swing on July 16. The 31-year-old slugger went through a series of dry swings and swings off a tee with a fungo bat. The next step involves doing the same with a regular bat before taking flip throws and then batting practice. Barring any setbacks, a return late next week appears possible.
Bautista is hitting .244/.360/.534 with 27 home runs, 65 RBI and an .894 OPS in 90 games played this year. He’s currently tied for fifth in the majors in home runs, despite his recent absence. Rookie outfielder Anthony Gose will likely be sent back down to Triple-A Las Vegas when Bautista is ready to return.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.