Jose Bautista is finally on the verge of returning from his wrist injury following several setbacks, as John Lott of the National Post reports that the Blue Jays slugger is ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
Bautista took batting practice Saturday and Sunday, saying afterward that his wrist is “100 percent” healthy. He’ll play a few games in the minors and potentially come off the disabled list Friday, explaining: “If I feel good, I’ll request to come back as soon as possible.”
He’s been out since July 16, as the injury derailed a hot streak that saw Bautista hit .279 with 22 homers, 50 RBIs, and a 1.021 OPS over a 58-game stretch after carrying a .177 batting average into mid-May.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.