Bautista talks injury and trade deadline

Here’s the full transcript in Q+A style of today’s scrum with Jose Bautista. He gives his thoughts on how the rehab from a sprained left wrist is going, about the Blue Jays activity at the trade deadline, on the lack of offense in recent games, plus his take on Yunel Escobar/Moises Sierra/Anthony Gose.

Bautista:

On how far the wrist has come…

“A long ways. It definitely feels much better but obviously with the type of injury in that area of a baseball player’s body and having to be able, or needing to be able to, handle a bat and swing it at high speeds with some weight on the bat, given that our bats are almost two pounds, is something that I don’t feel comfortable with going right now and saying that I’m able to play.

“I’m not going to start playing before I’m capable of doing what I can do. Or, I can help the team win games. I wouldn’t put myself in a situation to either hurt myself worse or help the team win games.”

Thoughts on the deadline…

“Not much has happened. Obviously we needed some bullpen help and we got some. So, that’s a real positive.”

On Yunel supposedly being disruptive in the clubhouse…

“It’s kind of upsetting because I know it’s just somebody making up rumors to diminish his value or just to ruin his reputation, in both case situations is pretty low of anybody to try to do that. I don’t see the reason why anybody would be targeting him personally and I’ve been his teammate for two and a half years now and I am the first one and attest that he is a great team player and he’s a great addition to any ballclub so we’re happy to have him and I’m glad to know and see that those were just rumors and I think he is one of the center pieces of this ballclub and I would hate to see him leave if he ever did. I wouldn’t want any other shortstop in the whole Major Leagues on my team that’s not him.”

On the amount of discomfort he feels in the wrist…

“Right now, nothing. But when I swing the bat, it’s some discomfort and the fact that that’s there, the recommendations from the hand specialist were not to push it too hard, too soon, so that’s what I’m going, taking it one day at a time. There’s no need to re-aggravate it, especially when I’m just hitting in the cage. I’m still ahead of the suggested gameplan according to the hand specialist.

“Their recommendations were initially to not even attempt to pick up a bat for two weeks and I’m at 16 days and I’m swinging in a cage with some liberty and somewhat of a free feel to my swing. It’s just that the speed of what I’m doing is not full speed. I’d say I’m still ahead of schedule and feeling good.”

On whether he envisions rehab games or do simulated work here…

“I don’t know, it will probably be a decision I would have to make later but my initial thought is if there’s enough games that I have missed and I do need any sort of playing time, my initial gut feeling is that I would rather do it somewhere else where I don’t disrupt the 25 guys that are here. Some teams have done it in the past and flown guys just to throw to somebody on the Major League team but that’s not what I would recommend.

“To me, initially, if I would only have to miss the exact 15 days of the DL stint I would have felt comfortable just going into the games right away. But obviously that timeframe is no longer realistic so it all depends on how many more games I miss. It will be addressed at the time, if I do need, and how many at-bats, and where it’s going to be depending on obviously where we’re playing at and where our upcoming games are going to be at.”

On whether offense struggling adds to his frustration level…

“I’m frustrated that I’m not out there and it’s frustrating to see our team lose any type of games. But it has been (three) games. It’s not something to freak out about or go thinking that the offense is not clicking. Sometimes you run into good pitching and that almost likely has been the case in the past (three) games. Guys have thrown good against us and there’s also been quite a few good plays made by the other team. This is a tough ballpark to score runs in. They’re a hot team, playing good, pitching good and hitting well. I don’t know, they have six or seven games that they have won in a row.

“Two games, is not that big of a deal, or nothing to be worried about. I think the most important game obviously is today and we have a chance to not get swept so I think that should be the main focus and then just take Oakland series for what it’s going to be. Obviously another team that’s playing good ball but a team that we feel confident enough that if we play up to our capabilities and execute when the game starts we should be able to beat them.”

Impressions on Anthony Gose…

“I think he is a player that brings a lot of energy, sort of like what Brett does. Just not as animated or as enthusiastic about it but nonetheless when he’s on the bases, he can disrupt the other team’s defense and how their approach to how they pitch to the guys that are batting and how they go about it as well and how quick their pitchers are going to work.

“That thought itself can get a pitcher off-track and help the guys at the plate. Defensively, he has done great I think. Obviously batting average wise, he’s not where he wants to be but it’s a small sample, that doesn’t mean anything.”

On talking to Moises after adventure on the bases…

“I don’t think it was an adventure. I think he stumbled around second base. He did get held up. Obviously I’m not going to recommend him doing that ever again but he knew where the ball was, the play was in front of him, it wasn’t behind him. He knew he could make it given his speed. So I think it was a great play that he scored. If he would have gotten thrown out maybe we’d be having a different discussions. But obviously he knows himself better than Butter and he thought he had it 100% and he did.

“I don’t think there was an adventure there but I do think I can help him out and others in any other aspect if they approach me or something kind of extraordinary happens and I feel like I need to put in my two cents, or I should. But that’s not the only reason I’m sticking around, I need to be with George (Poulis) and he’s taking care of my rehab and that’s where I feel comfort and that’s where he feels comfort so that’s why I’m here and not any other reason.”

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