Tragic loss as promising  felix bautista career cut short by a career ending injury’…

It’s never easy when a star player gets injured and the Baltimore Orioles were dealt that dose of reality when their star closer, Felix Bautista, went down with an elbow injury.

The 28-year-old was putting together one of the best relief performances in MLB history when his season abruptly ended.

He was 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA across 61 innings pitched and 110 strikeouts.

That was good enough to earn him American League Reliever of the Year honors, despite him last pitching in August due to his injury that required Tommy John surgery to repair.

The Orioles now will have to operate without their star for the entire upcoming season.

Craig Kimbrel was signed this offseason to lessen that burden, but there’s no doubt when Bautista gets back into the mix, this team becomes that much more difficult to face.

So, when might Baltimore get back their elite closer?

He spoke with reporters to update how his rehab is going.

“The recovery is going well. Just trying to stay focused and do everything I can to get back on the field at 100%,” Bautista said via an interpreter according to Jake Rill of

That’s a good sign, but he’s still expected to miss all of 2024.

However, he could be back in the mix for the start of the 2025 season.

“That return to the mound won’t occur in 2024, as Bautista is expected to miss the entire campaign while rehabbing. With the right-hander expected back in time for Spring Training 2025, Bautista and the Orioles got together on a two-year extension upon the announcement of his surgery back in September,” Nick Deeds of MLB Trade Rumors writes.

As long as the recovery continues to go well, then Bautista should have no issues being ready for the start of 2025.

This would be huge for the Orioles and it seems like they’re confident in that happening since they gave him the contract extension.

Bautista has been lights out in the Baltimore bullpen this season, sporting an 8-2 record with a 1.48 ERA and has made 33 saves.

Bautista exited last night’s game against the Colorado Rockies after recording the first two outs in the ninth inning. It appears that either Yennier Cano, who was also an All-Star this season, will step into the closer role while Bautista is sidelined.

Still, missing Bautista down the stretch could be critical for an Orioles team that is a true contender. He has a 46.4% strikeout rate and is averaging 99.6 MPH on his fastball, with many creeping above triple-digits.

The Orioles currently lead the AL East with an 80-48 record and look like a contender to nab a first-round bye in the playoffs. The biggest threat may come from the Tampa Bay Rays who are 78-52 and just three-games back of the division crown. Having a bullpen ace like Bautista going into the final month of the season would be huge for clinching the division and also could help the team silence opposing bats in the postseason.

While the severity of the injury is not yet known, a UCL injury can lead to significant missed time. Tearing the ligament results in Tommy John surgery, which has sidelined players like Walker Buehler and Jacob DeGrom this season and will sideline likely-AL MVP Shohei Ohtani after the season.

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