Jose Bautista is attempting a comeback as a two-way player: Does former MLB outfielder have a chance?
José Bautista could be coming to a bullpen near you.People are familiar with the former outfielder of Blue Jays fame for his propensity of launching dingers a long way, his bat flip and the one time he got decked by Rougned Odor. But Bautista, now 39, is attempting a comeback — with a twist. The idea of the two-way player is more invited in MLB than ever. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the Rays’ Brendan McKay are the two big names in the sport today designated as two-way guys. But for a 39-year-old player, it’s a tough sell.In any case, Bautista is planning to help the Dominican Republic qualify for the Olympics later this month. He represented the DR in the 2009 and 2017 World Baseball Classic.It’s a novel idea that could make for a great story, and Bautista has a puncher’s chance of getting it done, even if the likelihood is slim. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Bautista has been working out in the Dominican Republic as both a hitter and a pitcher. That’s right, Bautista is attempting to make a comeback as a two-way player.I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 2, 2020Per Passan, Bautista can run his fastball up to 94 mph., which is nothing to thumb your nose at, especially since he is an aging player. Bautista also boasts a slider that apparently has some depth. (Just so you know, Bautista doesn’t have a single pitch thrown in the majors.)Bautista last played in the majors in 2018, splitting time between the Braves, Mets and Phillies. He slashed .203/.348/.378 with 13 home runs in 122 games.It’s certainly admirable for Bautista to attempt a comeback, so don’t rule it out, but there are obvious questions surrounding his effort. Will a team be willing to take a shot on him? How much has his offensive skill deteriorated?