We may not have seen the last of Jose Bautista. That’s right my friends. Jose Bautista the pitcher? As crazy as that sounds, it doesn’t seem too far fetched. Joey Bats has been trying to make a comeback as a two-way player. One that pitches and hits. Bautista has always had a good arm in the field. It will be fascinating if he can actually pitch at a high level.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the news:
“Bautista is expected to play first base, a position he manned 30 times in more than 1,650 major league games during which he hit 344 home runs and drove in nearly 1,000 runs. He last played in the major leagues in 2018, though he spent this winter working out as a pitcher in hopes of returning as a two-way player, sources said. Bautista, who represented the D.R. in the 2009 and 2017 World Baseball Classic, may not pitch in the qualifier but is expected to play a significant role as the D.R. faces Puerto Rico, the United States and Nicaragua during the tournament’s round-robin first round. The two best teams from each four-team pool will face off in a final round that awards the winner and keeps the second- and third-place teams alive.”
Bautista currently is not signed but a strong performance in the WBC could go a long way towards assisting that effort. Bautista, 39, hasn’t been productive trying to hit a baseball in a long time. He hasn’t hit .250 since 2015 which was his last productive season. It’s a long shot but it’s one worth monitoring. I’m ready for Joey Fastballs.