TORONTO - All things considered, you have to think the Blue Jays dodged a bullet, or at least were dealt nothing more than a grazing blow, in their latest injury scare.
It’s never a good thing when your primary offensive star gets knocked out of the lineup, even for a couple of weeks, but the alternative was unthinkable.
Jose Bautista, himself, figures he caught a break after he was diagnosed with a tendon strain in his wrist after hitting a long, loud foul ball during the eighth inning on Monday.
“Just as I was finishing my swing I felt something weird around my wrist and on the recoil is when I felt a sharp pain,” said the two-time American League home run champ, after being placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
“I thought I had torn something or maybe had broken my wrist but bottom line is that I got examined, I got X-rays and an MRI, there’s not much structural damage, just some irritation around the joint.
“It’s a wrist strain and obviously I won’t be able to pick up the bat for a couple of days but we’re going to take it day-by-day and go through all the treatment necessary to get back onto the field, without rushing anything, but as quickly as possible.”
Even before the full extent of the injury was known, the Jays put in a call to triple-A Las Vegas for 21-year-old Anthony Gose, who arrived in New York early Tuesday morning, uncertain whether he would be activated.
He was activated on Tuesday and entered the game against the Yankees as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.
As far as Bautista is concerned, it was just a freakish, inexplicable accident, with nothing at all to do with a previous slide into home or residual damage from the exertion of last week’s home run derby at the all-star game.
“It’s funny that I’ve read a couple of things about the Derby or the slide at the plate,” he said, wearing a protective splint to avoid any movement or contact. “It has nothing to do with either of those two things.”
There is no timetable for Bautista’s return.
“It’s all about pain tolerance since there’s no structural damage,” he said. “It’s what it is, a strain, just like tweaking your hamstring or something. As long as you can tolerate the pain, I’m not going to make it any worse unless I do too much, too soon. I’ll let pain dictate what I can do and hopefully two weeks is enough, I’m thinking it will be.”
The Blue Jays, already struggling to stay in the AL wild card race, with only a couple of games separating eight teams, breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“It’s just unfortunate that it happened in such an important part of the season and in such an important game,” said Bautista.
“I think this is a pretty good team and by no means I feel like I’m the only one that’s capable of doing anything here.”
For the first time in the last three years, the other Blue Jays will get a chance these last two weeks of July to prove out the validity of that opinion.