Jose Bautista resumed swinging a bat last week, but the Blue Jays slugger isn’t close to returning from a sprained wrist.
Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Bautista “is still experiencing some discomfort” and his return timetable “remains very much up in the air” 17 days after the injury.
Bautista told Chisholm that a hand specialist advised him “not to push it too hard, too soon” and framed it as a positive that he’s been able to take swings off a tee. He also indicated that returning before the injury is 100 percent healed won’t be an option because he doesn’t want to risk re-aggravating it.
In other words, don’t expect to see Bautista back in the middle of the Blue Jays’ lineup for a while.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.