Jose Bautista Had Surgery For a Sports Hernia on Thursday
All those dingers with so little advance warning generated some questions, and there are sure to be more on Thursday now that we know he did most of that hitting while feeling pain from a sports hernia injury. According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Batista had beed suffering discomfort from the injury since May. He had surgery to repair it in Philadelphia Thursday and is expected to need four to six weeks of recovery.
That leaves him plenty of time to heal up before the start of training camp and leaves us plenty of time to marvel at what Bautista, who played in 161 games this season, did without being 100 percent physically this season.
Bautista's 54 home runs led the major leagues this season and he finished eighth in the American League among position players in Baseball Reference's formula for Wins Above Replacement. He's eligible for arbitration this offseason after making $2.4 million in 2010, and this surgery might actually help his bid for a big raise.
Whatever number Bautista and his agent submit as part of the arbitration process, assuming it gets that far, can be backed up by pointing out his stats from 2010 and saying, "Just imagine what he'll do now that he doesn't have a sports hernia causing him pain all season."
The only possible comeback to that from the Blue Jays would be to say that they believe the reason for Bautista's power surge was the sports hernia. It's a variation on the plot from Rookie of the Year, with the hernia causing hitting prowess instead of a broken arm causing high velocity from the arm of a teenaged Henry Rowengartner.
If you were an arbitrator, which one are you going to believe?