Jose Bautista, who has been a bright spot for the Mets this season, is set to return to Toronto on Tuesday, where he enjoyed a decade of premium success.
Now 37-years-old, Bautista originally went to the Blue Jays from the Pittsburgh Pirates midway through the 2008 season, and two years later, he established himself as one of the premier offensive threats in the game.
His last season as Jay in 2017 wasn’t his best, but he has been able to become a productive member of the Mets after being cut by the Atlanta Braves to begin this season.
Overall, he has appeared in 36 games for New York and has hit .250/.418/.476 with three homers and 13 RBI. While he isn’t going to launch 50+ home runs anymore, he has been able to produce in other facets of the game, such as getting on base.
“I’m not surprised by what he’s doing,” manager Mickey Callaway said, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. “He probably just needed some at-bats to get going and now we’re seeing the byproduct of him being ready.
“I’ve always known he’s a really good hitter. He keeps himself in really good shape. He’s probably in the best shape of anybody on our team and is [the oldest player on the roster]. Great approach, great patience, still has bat speed.”
While Bautista is enjoying his time in New York, Toronto will always hold a special place in his heart.
“I have some stuff scheduled, to meet up with people who were part of my life when I was there and visit some of the usual spots,” Bautista said over the weekend. “It’s definitely a place that I hold dear and close to my heart. It’s going to be a fun time.”
Though he ended his Blue Jays career on a low note hitting just .203, Bautista is happy he has gotten to play and perform with the Mets after he was neglected and didn’t sign until the beginning of the season had already started.
“Not having a spring training, wanting to swing the bat and some other things might’ve played into me not [getting on base] as much in Atlanta,” Bautista said. “I’m thinking that eventually I would have done the same. But I can only guess or assume. I’m enjoying what’s happening now and hopefully I can continue to get on base.
“Success at this level is something everybody needs to enjoy when they get it.”