Bits: Jose Bautista lands on disabled list 

August, 21, 2013
A miserable season for the Toronto Blue Jays got a bit worse Tuesday when slugging outfielder Jose Bautista left the afternoon portion of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium with left hip soreness. It didn’t seem like much at the time, perhaps a needed break for a tired player, but then it became significant when Bautista was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bone bruise. The team expects to give Bautista a few weeks of rest before evaluating, but as every fantasy owner knows, when the player’s team is floundering in last place this late in the season, it can often mean the player is hardly rushed back to the lineup, if not shut down for the winter.
[+] EnlargeJose Bautista
Getty ImagesWhile Jose Bautista has 55 homers and 138 RBIs combined over the past two seasons, his batting average is just .251.

Bautista enters Wednesday the No. 12 outfielder on the ESPN Player Rater, with 28 home runs and 73 RBIs, and his .259 batting average isn’t helpful, but it’s an improvement on last season. This type of power isn’t readily available in fantasy leagues, but it’s worth asking whether Bautista is a bit overrated; after all, since hitting 97 home runs in 2010-11, he’s battled injuries and presented a batting average problem. Sure, the 55 home runs over 210 games the past two seasons are nice, but is this really a top-20 player, which is where he was selected in ESPN live drafts?

At 32, Bautista isn’t too old to contribute to a winning Blue Jays or fantasy squad, but expectations should be kept in check, too. His walk and fly ball rates dropped this season, and each was paramount in creating the monster who hit 54 home runs a few seasons back. Pitchers don’t fear the guy as much as they used to. He still makes contact, and obviously there’s nothing wrong with 28 home runs, a figure currently topped by only six players, but fantasy owners likely target Bautista hoping for a return to MVP numbers. As of now he’s looking like a fourth-rounder to me for 2014 drafts, and we can only hope he provides something the rest of this season.