By: Brian Frank
Bo Bichette confirmed in his postgame press conference that his time rehabbing his right knee in Buffalo was over. After two games with the Herd, he’s heading to Cincinnati to meet the Blue Jays for their weekend series against the Reds.
“It’ll be cool to see them soon – and to get after it,” Bichette said. “It’s an important stretch, a lot of important games, adrenaline will be going. When you’re a kid you grow up hoping to be in those situations, so I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Bichette reminded Buffalo baseball fans why he’s a two-time All-Star in his first at-bat of his second rehab game against the Rochester Red Wings. He drove an 0-and-1 pitch into the bullpen in right-center field for a two-run home run to give the Bisons an early 2-0 lead.
“I don’t care what field I’m on, I want to get hits,” he said. “So, yeah, it felt good.”
In the third inning, he drilled another ball to the opposite field – this time off the wall. However, right fielder Travis Blankenhorn made a nice play and threw Bichette out at second base.
Bichette came up again in the fourth inning and launched a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Herd a 5-0 lead.
“I tend to be in a good place when I’m hitting the ball hard to the opposite field,” he said. “So, I think it was good.”
Although he played six innings at shortstop in the Bisons 7-1 win, he only had one groundball hit to him, a nifty 6-4-3 double play turned with second baseman Orelvis Martinez.
“I only had one groundball,” he said, “but I had to jump for one, I had to move around for a couple others that I didn’t have to make the play on. So, no, I don’t have any (concerns).”
Bichette batting at Sahlen Field. Photo Credit: Brian Frank, The Herd Chronicles
Despite coming back from a frustrating few weeks of not being able to play, Bichette said he could take some positives away from his time rehabbing.
“I mean you never want to be hurt, but when you do get in a situation like this, you’ve got to take advantage of it in the most ways you can,” he explained. “For me, it was about getting into better shape and really just setting myself up for the best possible finish that I can have and to help the team win.”
He ended up going 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in his two rehab games in the Queen City.
Bichette also starred for the Bisons in 2019, playing in 56 games before being called up to Toronto to make his major-league debut. Since then, he’s collected 622 major-league hits, led the league in hits twice – and is well on his way to doing it a third time.
“I get excited to watch them play to be honest,” he said of playing with the Bisons again. “I try to remember what it was like being here, knowing they’re fighting for their dream, so I try not to take that lightly. I try to go out there and help them win and play as hard as I can. A lot of guys are having a lot of good at-bats. A lot of talent. They care. They play hard – which is, to be honest, kind of good for me to see and remember what it’s like – people fighting for their life. I mean I want to get back, but I enjoyed being here.”