Not that Jose Bautista is a pitching coach ... Yet after 2,982 at-bats with five teams in this, his eighth major-league season, plus another 1,702 at-bats in the minors, plus all those best-of-nine playoff series in winter ball, the Blue Jays right fielder is certainly qualified to give an opinion on a pitcher. "Listen ..." Bautista says slowly in a measured tone, as if timing a pitch. "Kyle Drabek ... is one of the most talented young pitchers I have ever seen. "Right now he's trying to do too much. All he needs to do is relax." Easier said than done. Drabek threw Boston Red Sox Marco Scuturo an eight-pitch, lead-off walk to open the third inning on Sunday. Visibly upset at loosing the battle against Scutaro, his emotions carried over into the next batter, issuing a four-pitch walk setting up a two-run Sox rally thanks to one single. There was a time when Bautista, as a Pittsburgh Pirates minor league outfielder, wore so many emotions on his sleeves he needed the shoulder-to-wrist Under Armour. Every at-bat was treated as if it was Game 7 of the World Series. Like the fate of the free world depended upon him getting a base hit. The young Pirate turned the page, learned to play under control, wear short sleeves and carry his emotions in his back pocket. You may have heard how his maturation process turned out. He hit 54 home runs for the Blue Jays in 2010. Drabek could learn from Bautista's current calmness and composure. "Kyle has to shift his focus from results to consistently throwing strikes," Bautista said. "He is trying to run before he learns how to crawl." While Dave Stieb stared down outfielders Lloyd Moseby and George Bell ("I had to keep Moseby away from him or there would have been a fight," the noted peacemaker Bell once told me) or umpires, Drabek is battling Kyle Jordan Drabek.
Ease up on Jays' Kyle Drabek
Toronto Sun | Jun 14