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Jose Bautista is in The Best Shape of His Life

Feb 24, 2014, 6:15 AM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays' Bautista looks into the stands between innings during a MLB American League baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg Reuters

We heard about Melky Cabrera being in The Best Shape of His Life last week. Well, he didn’t work out alone. He had teammate Jose Bautista with him, and Bautista characterizes the purpose of those workouts:

“It was kind of easy and natural and we just decided to start earlier than we normally do,” Bautista said. “We are both coming off injuries and we wanted to try to get into the best shape of our lives before spring training started.”

Good for you, Jose. Good for you.

(Thanks to Rik for the heads up)

  1. dondada10 - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Bob Frantz’s head is going to explode after Bautista hits his first homer after starting to train with Melky.

  2. proudlycanadian - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Last season was a write off for Melky due to a tumor attached to his spine. Bautista’s season was cut short by a bone bruise in his hip. Both Reyes and Lawrie also missed significant time due to injuries. Encarnacion and Rasmus also ended the year on the DL. Morrow missed most of the year due to an injury. He is healthy, added muscle, and is looking good. Both Drabek and Romero have had very good bullpen sessions. Last season was wrecked by injuries. This year, a healthy Jays team will be contenders.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      I’ve had this conversation with others, so its a rehash of some earlier points. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, here goes

      The blue jays were a pretty good hitting team last season especially in the second half of the season. They struck out a lot, but they also hit a lot. Their problem was not so much hitting. It was more defence and pitching. The did those things poorly. They’ll need to be noticeably better at catcher, 2B, SS & LF. Then there is starting pitching. They had a below average ERA and ERA+. They need to bring those to league average or thereabouts. If they can get Mark Buehrle to be who he was by June of last season and get his ERA back under 4 where it usually is for the season, Morrow to stay injury free, and catchers to hold onto Dickey’s knuckle ball, they’ll be the contenders you describe. They’ll have a much better chance of it if their 4 and 5 starters are no more than a 4 ERA. That’s a lot of moving parts to get better at. They need some luck.

      They have a ton of BP pitching and no fewer than 3, and possibly 4, potential starters to select for the #’s 4 & 5 in the rotation. The others in the bullpen as insurance. They’ve got a ton of potential hitting rounding into form especially Lawrie and Rasmus who looked like they’d finally got it together by the last 2 months of the season. If they slug like they did, pitch to league average and actually defend their pitching, they’ll be a tough team to beat.

      The problem is that the division is stacked with teams who can be described like that. The Red Sox will as tough as ever. They could easily repeat. The Orioles have made a significant pitching upgrade with Jiminez. He could be great. He could be terrible. I have no idea. But of them all, its the Rays that look the best

      Those three teams do not have to get better with a lot of moving parts. They’re pretty set and need only do what they’ve been doing. If Jiminez is a 3.50 pitcher, the Orioles will duke it out with the Rays for the division with the Red Sox in the mix. The blue jays could wind up being much better than most of the league and still miss out. This has to be the most interesting division in baseball right now

      • moogro - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Wow, harry, you’ve really grown. I like it.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        “harry”? No.

        My name is Neo!

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        If we are going to start “what if”-ing, it is difficult to entirely discount the Yankees in 2104. Sure, they too need some things to break right. So many things should be better than last year that I find it difficult to imagine they won’t at least hang with the division leaders for most of the season. Depending on what happens with players returning to health and at the trade deadline, they could still be a force.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        Judging from the name, you’re a Yankee fan. First, I am sorry. Second, if we’re going to engage in “what if” lets do it like so:

        The average age of the infield is 35. What if they averaged out at 25?

        The injury history with SS, 2B & 1B is terrible. In fact, 1B is already “resting” his wrist. What if they weren’t brittle?

        The starting rotation is being anchored by a guy in Sabbathia who has declined the past two seasons, Kuroda, who faded as the season went on last year, and Tanaka who’s never thrown an MLB pitch. What if they were reliable?

        The biggest bats in the lineup seem to be Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann. What if they don’t get injured?

        I’m sorry, but that is not a hopeful looking team to me. The “what ifs” seem hard to overcome.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Of course there is tremendous risk here, all the more so because of the age of the players involved. However, there is also tremendous upside. Sure, anyone can get injured (see the entore Toronto team for the past 2 seasons). The upside however is somewhere between very good and hall of fame good on a number of the players on this team. I have to say I prefer risk with upside over secure mediocrity. So yes, I prefer Takaka, CC and Kuroda over the likes of Buehrle and JA Happ.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Some reading for you. And, once again, I’m sorry.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Is anything in baseball a “sure thing?”

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I speak merely of hope and likelihood. I do not see how, even if the rotation is pretty good, the Yankees manage to do very much this season. They lack offence and defence. All it would take is one injury to the rotation to eliminate that as a factor, too. They have few pitching options in reserve.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        So what you are saying is that, if things go wrong, the Yankees won’t contend, but if they go right, the Yankees will contend.

        As for depth, their bank accounts tend to be plenty deep, which helps with player depth.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Money can’t create talent, though. There ISN’T anyone to go out and get. Otherwise they would have done it already.

        Now, if things go right, they’re still an old brittle infield without a lot of depth to their pitching. They play in a small park vs teams that are not old, not brittle, and have depth. Like the blue jays, they could be ok and STILL lose out. They simply cannot compete with what’s in the division

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        There are players to go get if the need increases, and as the season progresses there will be more available in salary dumps.

        I think the recent track record would suggest it is not wise to bet against the Yankees contending. Their financial models rely upon playoff money, and at this point they are in for a penny and in for a pound.

        Time will tell, of course.

    • bostonboresme - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Not in that division. Sorry bub.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      The problem with all of that is Melky was nothing more then a 4th outfielder, then he got on the juice and now that he is off he will have 4th outfielder numbers again. Reyes will never stay healthy when he has to play all those games on turf, it would be much better to trade him. Drabek is a 26 year old bust soon to be 27, that still has to be one of worst trades in history. Romero is toast and hasn’t been good for a few seasons now. And the biggest issue your team has is that NL starting rotation, unless the jays plan on moving to the NL one should fully expect their staff ERA to be worse this year. Enjoy last place again! Cheers!

  3. jonmarkbarre - Feb 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Notice he say “kind of…natural”

    • genericcommenter - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Obviously, the kind of was only applied to the “easy” before the and.

  4. bostonboresme - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Bautista also projected to break his career-high whining rate this season.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    His beard is comprised of hairs that have fallen out of Chuck Norris’s beard because they were strong enough.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      *weren’t strong enough. Damn lack of edit function…

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      You were right the first time. Those beard hairs had the strength to reject Chuck Norris.

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