Orioles May Welcome Felix Bautista Back in 2023

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Orioles May Welcome Felix Bautista Back in 2023
Orioles May Welcome Felix Bautista Back in 2023 © Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles have been navigating choppy waters since their star closer, Felix Bautista, landed on the injured list on August 26. The reason? A concerning injury to the UCL of his throwing elbow. The Orioles have been tight-lipped regarding the specifics of Bautista's injury, though it's known he's been actively throwing during his IL stint.

During a recent press briefing, Orioles' General Manager Mike Elias offered a glimmer of insight. Addressing the media, Elias remarked that the door hasn't been shut on a potential Bautista return this year. He underscored this statement with medical opinions suggesting that Bautista's continued pitching wouldn't exacerbate the injury.

Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post first reported this news. The exact nature of the injury remains a point of debate. Elias's initial response was affirmative when prompted if it could be described as a UCL tear. However, he soon clarified, noting the injury would be "best characterized as an acute or chronic injury to his ligament." As relayed by Jake Rill of MLB.com, this characterisation casts an alarming shadow on the young closer's future.

Elias admitted surgery could be on the horizon, though he emphasized that a concrete decision on Bautista's treatment would come postseason. This detail emerged courtesy of Rich Dubroff from Baltimore Baseball.

Bautista's Stellar Rookie Impact

Felix Bautista's rookie year was remarkable, quickly establishing him as a premier late-game talent in the MLB.

His impressive stats, marked by a scorching 1.48 ERA over 61 innings, speak to his prowess. With a striking 46.4% batter strikeout rate and nearly 21% pitch whiff rate, Bautista's absence in the Orioles' lineup is palpable.

His performance might even earn him a few nodspostseason Young ballots. As the postseason looms, Bautista's potential return could significantly influence the Orioles' fate. Currently leading the AL East by three games against the Rays, the Orioles are on track for the division title and aspire for home-field dominance in the American League playoffs.

Even in Bautista's absence, their playoff berth seems solid, but losing a player opostseasonber could hinder their postseason journey. Regardless of this season's outcome, Bautista, at 28, remains central to the Orioles' plans.

He's barely crossed the two-year service mark, ensuring Baltimore can bank on his talents for at least four more seasons.


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