Out of the starting lineup since June 22 with a hamstring injury, Jose Bautista is starting at designated hitter for the Blue Jays this afternoon against the Brewers.
Bautista appeared as a pinch-hitter Sunday, but manager John Gibbons still wants to play it a little safe by keeping him out of right field for at least one more day. That means usual designated hitter Adam Lind will sit versus Marco Estrada despite batting .378 off right-handed pitchers this season.
Bautista is leading the American League in All-Star votes with nearly five million and also leads the league in walks and on-base percentage while hitting .304 with 15 homers and a .956 OPS in 78 games.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.