Tag:Jose Bautista
Posted on: September 22, 2010 12:50 pm
 

Pirates management seems to have rabbit ears

You'd think a team with the record of futility of the Pirates would be a little more used to criticism.

If you're a player, apparently your job is to shut up and take it. Of course, for Jose Bautista, all's well that ends well -- namely getting the hell outta Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Dejan Kovacevic runs down the history between the Pirates and Bautista , and notes the Pirates have made a similar mistakes recently with Neil Walker and Garrett Jones.

Anyway, it's a great read -- make sure you go read the whole thing -- but the key part is here:
In the summer of 2008, just before a morning workout at Wrigley, Jose Bautista was told by John Russell that he had lost his job to Andy LaRoche. This was what Bautista told me that morning in the visitors' dugout.

Seem harmless?

Nevertheless, the Pirates, by several accounts, took umbrage that Bautista expressed that he still saw himself as everyday material, almost as if it were an act of insubordination.

Then, Bautista was sent to the minors.

Then, after Bautista did very well in the minors, he was traded to Toronto for third-string, since-released catcher Robinzon Diaz.
Walker apparently upset management last year when he said he thought he deserved a chance in the mjors -- instead he was told he had to be a super-utility player to make it to the majors. Walker also said Dave Littlefield players were being held down.

Walker got his chance this season and hit .296/.343/.474. The 24-year old got his chance and made the most of it, but was he right and maybe was he ready last year?

Jones may be the latest to receive the cold shoulder from the Pirates after having the audacity to believe in himself. Two weeks ago general manager Neal Huntington said Jones' disappointing 2010 means he will be considered a platoon player in 2011. That didn't please Jones.

"Yeah. My production was down this year, but nothing's set in stone," Jones told Kovacevic . "I think they're just looking at different options for next year. For me, I've got to go into the offseason and really work on my swing, find a way to get out of some of these funks I've had. I'll come in prepared for next season and, whatever decision they make … I'm going to make it hard on them to do something like that."

Or the Pirates could just trade him -- it worked last time.

 -- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 3:51 pm
 

Jays' Bautista tossed in tie game

Jose Bautista The last series between the Yankees and Blue Jays, Jose Bautista was yelling at Yankees pitchers. On Saturday, it was home plate umpire Ed Hickox on the other side of Bautista's braking.

With two on and no outs in a tie game, Bautista was called out on strikes against New York's Joba Chamberlain. Bautista let Hickox know what he thought of the call and was ejected.

Replays and MLB.com's pitch tracker both showed the ball was well outside, bolstering Bautista's point.

But being right doesn't make the situation any better. Bautista is the Jays' best shot at untying the game with a single swing. The next Jays batter, Vernon Wells, grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Yankees' Marcus Thames hit a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning to untie the game.

Bautista leads the majors with 43 home runs and hit two against the Yankees on Aug. 23, including one after New York starter Ivan Nova threw near his head.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 5:10 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2010 8:10 pm
 

Jays lose third baseman Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion Toronto third baseman Edwin Encarnacion sprained his left wrist on a swing during Saturday's win over the Tigers, and after the game was placed on the disabled list. Mike McCoy was recalled to take his roster spot.

Major-league home run leader Jose Bautista has played 35 games at third this season, but manager Cito Gaston said he didn't want to shift Bautista from right field to fill in for Encarnacion and that John McDonald will get most of the playing time.

Encarnacion is Toronto's nine-hole hitter and is batting .245 (though he'd been hitting better in August), so this injury doesn't have a big impact on the Jays' offense.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 10:09 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 12:55 pm
 

Pujols, Votto battling for Triple Crown lead

Albert Pujols Albert Pujols went 3 for 5 with a home run in Monday night's victory over the Pirates for the Cardinals. The performance was enough to vault Pujols into the league-lead for homers and RBI, pushing his average to .319, four points behind league-leader Joey Votto.

Yes, Albert Pujols, on pace for his third-worst OPS in his career, is a viable contender for a Triple Crown with a .319/.413/.600 mark, bashing 32 home runs and posting 92 RBI.

If Pujols can somehow leapfrog Votto (with Martin Prado one percentage point ahead of Pujols as well), he would be the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. He has some work on his hands to overcome Votto as well as potentially navigate Omar Infante. While Infante is likely to miss the cut-off to qualify for the batting title by about 60-80 at-bats, there is still a way for the .350-hitting utility infielder to win the title. If his batting average still leads the competition after adjusting up to the threshold with hitless appearances, Infante would win.

So say Infante finishes 70 at-bats short with a .350 average. Adding 80 hitless at-bats to get him to the 502 at-bat threshold puts him with a .295 batting average, so Infante's not likely to win out.

Pujols has a four-RBI lead ahead of the Reds' Votto, and a one-home run lead over Adam Dunn. He'll have stiff competition down to the wire, but it's looking like Pujols is an extremely viable candidate to tab perhaps baseball's most coveted milestone. The good news for those rooting for Phat Albert is that he is heating up -- after a season-low .848 OPS in July, Pujols has roared back with a 1.351 mark in August, hitting .425/.488/.863.

Pujols will have competition for that mark, however, the aforementioned Votto, pacing the NL in batting average and just behind Pujols in RBI, has 29 home runs, which is four behind Pujols. A well-timed hot streak could vault Votto atop the leaderboards in every category in what is the 26-year-old's MVP-caliber year.

As if a race to the wire for Triple Crown honors in the NL wasn't enough, the AL is working on its own Triple Crown candidate. Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers -- although he falls further and further out of the race through no fault of his own.

Cabrera is hitting .341/.437/.634 -- all better marks than Pujols... except Cabrera has to contend with two of the hottest hitters in the game. Josh Hamilton is lapping the field with a .357 batting average, a filthy .409 since June 1. On the home-run side of the ledger, his 31 home runs are just one behind Pujols... and nine behind Jose Bautista, who bashed two against the Yankees Monday.

At least Cabrera can find solace in his league-leading 103 RBI.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:10 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 1:12 am
 

Bautista faces allegations, inside fastballs

It was a big day for Toronto's Jose Bautista against the haters.

First it was talk of steroids and then it was 92 mph fastball at his head. The Blue Jays slugger came out swinging on both accords.

As for steroids, the whispers were vocalized a little louder before Monday's game, as Toronto Star hockey columnist Damien Cox compared Bautista to Roger Clemens and Brady Anderson .

Cox's column was headlined, "Gotta At Least Ask the Question."

Bautista's response?

"Well ask it," Bautista said, according to the National Post . "Don't write about it."

He's got a point, why didn't Cox, who presumably has access to the Blue Jays' clubhouse, go ahead and ask it to Bautista before writing?

"Nobody's said anything to me and I don't see why they should," Bautista told the Globe and Mail . "Baseball has a strict policy against those performance-enhancing whatever you want to call them."

After he hit his 39th and 40th home runs against the Yankees, ESPN personality Bill Simmons also accused Bautista of using steroids on Twitter : "Jose Bautista just hit his 40th HR. Previous high: 16. It's Aug. 23rd. But it's not the Steroids Era anymore. I'm just confused."

While it's tough to defend yourself against words, fastballs are easier to swat away.

Bautista hit a two-run home run off of Yankees starter Ivan Nova. After Bautista deposited a ball foul into the upper deck on the direst pitch he saw from Nova in the sixth, Nova threw an 0-1 fastball near Bautista's head and the Blue Jay hit the deck before getting up and moving toward the mound as both dugouts emptied.

From the Globe and Mail :

“I was just trying to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from him,” Bautista said. “And I was surprised to see he was pretty defiant, he was walking up towards me, flashing his hands up and started yelling.

“That’s when I felt the pitch was intentional.”

Nova denied it was anything of the sort.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” Nova said. “I just throw the ball. I’ve got to pitch. I pitch inside, I can get a lot of outs. The pitch wasn’t on purpose.”

Bautista flied out in that at-bat.

In the eighth, Bautista came up against David Robertson and turned on a fastball for his 40th homer of the season to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.

Bautista flipped his bat, watched it, took a couple of steps and a glance toward the mound before breaking into a slow trot around the bases. As he approached the plate he started pumping his fists and didn't  stop until he was headed toward the dugout and was high-fiving teammates. I'm no Tater Trot Tracker , so I could be off on this timing, but I got 28.6 seconds on Bautista's trot -- which wouldn't be one of the top 10 slowest trots of the season, but it would be in the top 10 of the non-David Ortiz division) -- but it certainly wasn't quick.

"Given what transpired earlier, I enjoyed it pretty good," he told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Bautista on field for Blue Jays

The Indians and Blue Jays are under way in Toronto, and Jose Bautista is playing. That means that as of now, there's nothing close on a trade. If there were an agreement even in principle, Toronto would pull him as a precaution.

The Jays were reportedly asking for major leaguers in return for baseball's home run leader, but apparently nobody has blinked -- yet. Bautista has hit a club-record 11 homers in July, and is batting .397 with seven homers and 23 RBI since the All-Star break. He's more valuable right now than he'll ever be, and the Jays would be best off accepting the best deal on the table in the next two hours.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 9:13 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 9:47 pm
 

Jays simply have to trade Bautista

Jose Bautista
Dear Toronto Blue Jays,

Trade Jose Bautista. Right now. Best offer you can get by Saturday afternoon, take it.

Yes, he's the talk of the town, and one of the only reasons anyone is paying attention to Blue Jays baseball. The fans will raise a stink. But you have to bite the bullet and do it anyway. 

The night before the trade deadline, the guy hit a grand slam. He's showcasing himself! By the time the ball cleared the wall, Alex Anthopoulos should have been hitting speed dial for whatever GM made the last offer. The idea is to sell high, and his value is never going to be higher than it is right now.

Nearly 14 percent of the times Bautista has come to the plate this season, he has hit a home run. He's hit 196 fly balls, and 31 of them -- nearly one in six -- have gone over the wall. These are not, as the stat folks say, "sustainable skills." Other teams will know this, but other teams who are under immense pressure to win a championship will not care at this particular moment.

Fact is, Jose Bautista is a .241 career hitter who other than this year is good for about 15 homers a year. The overwhelming odds are that he is going to go back to being that guy, or at least closer to being that guy than the monster you've seen this season. In all likelihood, 2010 Jose Bautista is 2000 Richard Hidalgo (44 homers, no more than 28 any other season). He's 1996 Brady Anderson (50, 24). Bautista is 29 and he's been in six organizations -- if he's got Albert Pujols potential, someone would have figured it out by now.

You're trying to build a team, and you don't need career-average Bautista as much as you need the multiple pieces you can get for him in the next few hours.

Trade him.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 2:46 pm
 

Trade deadline sellers: Toronto Blue Jays

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Alex Anthopoulos The Blue Jays have a winning record, and for a while it sounded as if they were going to load up and make a serious run at the playoffs.  But after taking a realistic look at the landscape in front of them – they are fourth in their own division – it looks like the boys up north have decided to punt. They already pulled off one trade, swapping shortstop Alex Gonzalez for younger model Yunel Escobar on July 14.

Record: 48-47, 12 games behind and in fourth place in the American League East. Seventh in the AL wild-card race, 9 ½ games back.
General manager: Alex Anthopoulos, first year
Expectations: Building. The Jays are in the frustrating position of being a decent, but not great, team in a division that includes a couple of payroll bullies. But as the Rays have shown, you can overcome that by building smart.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was $62.7 million, 22nd in baseball. The Jays have about $44 million committed to contracts and pro-rated portions of signing bonuses for 2011.

What they have to offer

Scott Downs might be the best reliever on the market. The left-handed middleman has a 2.52 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings, and hasn’t given up an earned run since June 6. He had some neck and arm soreness just before the break but has been unrestricted since.

The Jays are apparently asking a lot for Downs, scaring away some suitors. But he’s likely to be a Type A free agent after the season, which means Toronto could get two first-round picks if he leaves as a free agent. Even saving the rest of his salary (about $2 million left for the year) doesn’t make it worth trading him if they can’t get at least that level of talent back.

Major-league home run leader Jose Bautista (.238/.354/.542) is looking like a very attractive quick fix for teams in need of power. He can play any outfield position as well as third base. But he doesn’t hit for average, he will get a big salary bump in arbitration next year, and the Jays are reportedly asking a lot for him. Still, the Giants, Braves, Tigers and White Sox appear to be in play.

Scott Downs Reliever Jason Frasor has been erratic this season (check out his ERA by month: April 8.38, May 0.82, June 6.75, July 1.35) but when he’s on he has shown the ability to be effective against righties and lefties.

First baseman Lyle Overbay (.251/.330/.412) is an impending free agent the Jays would like to deal, though there are better first basemen on the market and Overbay is making $7 million this year.

Catcher John Buck (.285/.315/.518) was an All-Star and is an attractive and cheap ($1 million left for this year) power option, and the Jays have prospect J.P. Arencibia waiting in the wings.

There are conflicting reports on whether Toronto is shopping closer Kevin Gregg, who has been reliable and has a manageable $4.5 million club option for next season.

What they want in return?

The Jays are reportedly asking for middle infielders, which is odd because they control both of their starters through at least 2013. Maybe they’re looking for someone they can convert to third base.

They could use some starting pitching prospects to throw into their mix, and if they trade more than one of their relievers they’ll need reinforcements there.

Predictions: Bautista goes to the Giants, who finally give in to Toronto’s demands. The Mets get either Downs or Gregg. Overbay goes and Buck stays.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels; Sellers: Florida Marlins

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com