Making official what was expected, the Red Sox announced that Andrew Bailey will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn capsule and damaged labrum in his right shoulder.
Bailey actually entered the All-Star break on the active roster having thrown four consecutive scoreless appearances, but revealed that he felt a lot of pain during the last of those four outings and has been dealing with discomfort for a while now.
He initially gave some thought to going the rest-and-rehab route, but later explained: “The only way to fix this is surgery–100 percent fix it. This isn’t going to heal on its own.” Instead he’ll be out for at least the next 12 months.
Bailey was acquired from the A’s last offseason for Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara and brought an extensive injury history with him to Boston. Last year he was limited to just 15 ineffective innings because of a torn thumb ligament and this year his season ends after 29 innings. He’s under team control for next season via arbitration, but the Red Sox may decide to cut Bailey loose rather than pay him something close to this year’s $4.1 million salary.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.