Be afraid, American League hurlers. Be very afraid. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that Jose Bautista has resumed swinging a bat.
Bautista hasn’t played since July 16 due to inflammation in his left wrist. He was shut down on August 1 following a minor setback, but an MRI last week ruled out any further damage.
Today’s activities consisted of some dry swings and hitting off a tee. He’ll increase baseball activities based on how the wrist responds, so there’s not a clear timetable for his return right now. However, Bautista said last week that he plans on returning this season.
Bautista, 31, was hitting .244/.360/.534 with an .894 OPS in 90 games prior to the injury. He still ranks eighth in the American League with 27 homers despite the nearly month-long absence.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.