PHOENIX -- Appearing in a game for the first time in a exactly a month in Monday's 4-1 win, Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar needed only six pitches, all strikes, to retire the side against the D-backs. It was the type of outing Toronto became accustomed to in the 30-year-old's All-Star season before right shoulder inflammation forced him to miss most of August on the disabled list.
"Yeah, he's pretty good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, smiling. "He can overpower you when he's in the strike zone like that. It can be a mismatch. Six pitches, six strikes. That's good."
For Delabar, it was nice to get back on the mound and experience immediate success, especially after the right-hander struggled in July and his only outing in August, posting a 7.59 ERA in 10 2/3 innings. He hopes Monday's appearance will give him some momentum as he tries to close out 2013 on a high note.
"I just want to get in, attack the hitters and get out of there as fast as possible," Delabar said. "Just do what I expect to do. That's it. Just stay healthy and finish strong."
Delabar was just as good in his second game back, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Blue Jays' 4-3 loss to the D-backs on Wednesday. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
Bautista to miss rest of season with bone bruise
PHOENIX -- For the second straight year, Jose Bautista's season will end early, as the Blue Jays announced on Wednesday the veteran right fielder will be shut down. Although Bautista first went on the disabled list on Aug. 21 with what was described as a bone bruise in his left hip, the 32-year-old has now been diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left femur, near the top of the leg.
Bautista, whose season ended abruptly last year when he underwent wrist surgery in August, visited Dr. Bryan Kelly in New York earlier this week and learned he'd need to rest two more weeks before beginning baseball activities. With that knowledge, the Blue Jays decided there wasn't much to gain by rushing him back for a few games at the end of the month.
"It's been healing really nice with good progression, but we'd only have a handful of games left so he recommended we shut it down," Bautista said. "It's not exactly how I wanted to end the season, but there's not much you can do once you have an injury. I have no choice but to follow the doctor's recommendation. It's the timing of it, and obviously the fact that we're not in contention plays a little bit into the decision making. It's a combination of all those things."
Even though he isn't exactly sure when he suffered the injury, Bautista estimated it occurred sometime shortly after the All-Star break. He continued to play hurt for the next month before the discomfort became too much for him to ignore.
The Blue Jays expect Bautista to be completely healed long before the club opens camp next spring in Florida, but that small silver lining didn't provide much comfort to the four-time All-Star, who admitted his frustration with not being able to finish a season again.
"It's really tough, I'm one of those players that takes a lot of pride in working out hard and coming in really good shape in the offseason," he said. "Unfortunately, I've had two impact plays that have prevented me from finishing the season strong the last two years. I'm hoping I have better luck next year. By resting it now and not making it worse, I'll be 100 percent and not have any issues moving forward."
Bautista finishes 2013 batting .259 with 28 homers, 73 RBIs and an .856 OPS.
• Although the Blue Jays announced they were shutting down Bautista, the club wasn't ready to do the same for Colby Rasmus, who is still rehabbing an oblique injury in Florida.
"Progress, but he's not ready yet," Gibbons said. "Those injuries can take a while and there's not a lot of games left anyways, so we'll play it by ear."
• Called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, reliever Jeremy Jeffress is hoping to turn some heads in September. The right-hander has been known to light up the radar gun but also to struggle with his command.
"We've always liked his arm, everybody's liked his arm," Gibbons said. "It was just a matter of putting it together. We made some mechanical adjustments. He dropped his arm slot just a little bit, figured that might help with his command. All the indications and reports have said he has been throwing well, especially the last month. You don't come across those arms very often, so we want to know what we have.
Jeffress allowed singles to the only two batters he faced in Wednesday's 4-3 loss in 10 innings, the later being Willie Bloomquist's walk-off single on a 100-mph fastball.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.