The Blue Jays said that Bautista, the American League home run champion each of the past two seasons, has left wrist inflammation. They purchased the contract of outfielder Anthony Gose from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Bautista's spot on the roster.
Bautista was immediately sent Monday night for X-rays, which came back negative. The injury occurred during a swing in the middle of an at-bat against New York right-hander David Robertson in the Blue Jays' 6-3 loss.
"Unfortunately on the swing on the 2-0 fastball, he felt a sensation in that left wrist that obviously took him out of the ballgame," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Bautista, who was unavailable to speak with the media after the game, later tweeted: "Thanks everyone for your concerns. XRAY negative and further testing tomorrow. #fingerscrossed and wish me luck!"
The injury occurred as Bautista drove a 2-0 fastball deep into foul territory down the left-field line. During his follow-through, Bautista grimaced and dropped his bat. He then took a few steps toward the Blue Jays' dugout while grabbing his wrist. Farrell and trainer George Poulis ran onto the field, and after a few minutes, removed Bautista from the game.
There was some confusion in the ensuing minutes about what happened to Bautista, and even the man with the best view at Yankee Stadium didn't know exactly what took place.
"After he hit the ball, he immediately grabbed his left wrist," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. "I'm not really quite sure what happened. It could've been a bunch of things. I'm not a doctor.
"I just saw him go to the ground and grab his wrist. It looked like he was in pain."
Toronto went through the first two months of the season relatively injury free, but the club's good fortune changed in early June. That's when starting pitchers Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison were placed on the disabled list within the span of a week.
Just prior to the All-Star break, the injuries continued as Luis Perez suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament that will require Tommy John surgery. Perez joined fellow relievers Sergio Santos and Jesse Litsch on the 60-day DL, while starter Dustin McGowan has been there since the end of Spring Training. Morrow joined them on that list Monday so that Gose could be added to the 40-man roster.
Bautista's injury could end up being the first major blow to the everyday lineup.
"We've been fortunate as far as our everyday lineup is concerned," Farrell said. "As far as injuries, we've been relatively injury free. This is the first one, and it's a big blow, there's no doubt, but until we have an idea of how long this will be, we won't know [how big of a blow] until tomorrow."
Bautista, who was replaced in the game by pinch-hitter Ben Francisco, is just one behind Adam Dunn of the White Sox for most home runs in the Major Leagues, with 27. He is hitting .244 with 65 RBIs and an .897 OPS while drawing 58 walks in 90 games.
The Dominican Republic native has arguably been the Blue Jays' most valuable player once again this season. He has combined with first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to form the most potent duo in the big leagues. The pair have combined to hit 52 homers and have both been instrumental in an offense that ranks third in the AL with 444 runs scored.
Bautista's production is seemingly impossible to replace, and Farrell understandably seemed concerned during his postgame interview.
"He didn't say exactly when, but through the course of completing the swing he felt a little bit of a popping sensation," Farrell said. "As we said, the X-rays are negative, so it's not a bone structure. We have to determine what it is, as far as the ligaments in the wrist area, so that's where the MRI has to come into play tomorrow."
Gose, 21, was hitting .293 with five home runs, 41 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 91 games for Las Vegas.
Gose, ranked the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, was pulled from Las Vegas' game on Monday night after one at-bat.