Orioles confirm bad news regarding closer Felix Bautista
The Baltimore Orioles have locked up an AL East title and a 100-win season, but they confirmed Saturday that they will be missing a major piece in the playoffs.
Orioles GM Mike Elias confirmed that closer Felix Bautista will undergo Tommy John surgery and will not return for the postseason. Bautista is also expected to miss all of 2024 as he recovers.
Félix Bautista will have Tommy John surgery, Mike Elias said. He’ll miss the rest of this year and likely all of 2024.
— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) September 30, 2023
Unfortunately, this is not a major surprise. The Orioles said in late August that Bautista was dealing with a UCL-related injury, but the team was holding out hope that he might be able to pitch again this season. Ultimately, Bautista simply did not progress as the team hoped he would.
Bautista emerged as one of the game’s elite closers this season, posting a 1.48 ERA with 33 saves before suffering his injury. Yennier Cano has largely taken over ninth inning duties since Bautista went down, and the Orioles have not really suffered for it.