PHOENIX - Jose Bautista's season is over.
The calendar becomes the enemy of the Blue Jays' right fielder, who's been on the disabled list since August 21 with a bone bruise in his left hip.
Bautista was prescribed two additional weeks of rest during a visit on Monday with New York-based hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly. Back with the ballclub, Bautista says he won't have enough time to work himself into baseball shape before the season ends on September 29.
"Just the timing of everything wasn't ideal," said Bautista. "Obviously the fact that we're not in contention had to play a little bit in the decision-making and the recommendations that the doctor has done. Just the combination of all the factors: timing-wise, our team situation and the type of injury and the extent of the injury, everything was considered to make this decision."
"The doctor says he's healing fine but realistically, about a week or so from now when he's ready to go, by the time he cranks it up and gets back into a little shape, the season's about over anyway," said manager John Gibbons. "It makes perfect sense to shut it down."
Bautista's season ends prematurely again. A torn tendon sheath limited him to 92 games last year.
Now it's a bruise, as Bautista put it, of the neck of his femur bone. He doesn't remember exactly when the injury occurred but confirms he was hurt on a scoring play during the homestand immediately following the All-Star break. He played through the pain for about a month, but spoke up in New York City when the situation became intolerable.
"Really tough," said Bautista. "I'm one of those players who takes a lot of pride into working out hard and coming in really good shape in the offseason. Unfortunately, I've had two impact plays that have prevented me from finishing the season strong in the last two years. I'm hoping to have better luck next year."
Bautista's slash line comes in at .259/.358/.498, marking a second-straight season of OPS decline. He'll fall short of the 30-home run mark, like last year, but injuries are solely to blame.
"It's not exactly how I wanted to end the season," said Bautista. "There's not much you can do once you have an injury, once you have sustained it, the only way to heal up is I have no choice but to follow the doctor's recommendations."
With Bautista out of the picture and with lingering doubt about Colby Rasmus' (strained left oblique) status, get used to seeing the likes of Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra and Kevin Pillar.
Gibbons likes to say it's an opportunity for the young players, an opportunity to make a name at the big league level that for some never comes along.
Given the state of the Blue Jays, there are plenty of those opportunities to go around.