Blue Jays latest updates on two injured players. What’s the concern level?

On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the last-ranked Oakland Athletics 12-1. The win secured the Jays a series win that was much needed and, quite frankly, expected against a team that has been doing as poorly this season as the A’s.

During the game, back-up catcher Tyler Heineman, who is only in the active squad because Alejandro Kirk is on the injured list, had to be taken out after making an alteration on his left side. This puts the Blue Jays in a sudden roster crisis behind the record. The current plan is for the Jays to use tomorrow’s day off as a backstop re-evaluation.

This comes just a day after substitute Yimi García was pulled out of the game due to a right knee problem. The right-hander has been struggling lately and feels like a candidate for a short stint on the injured list to give himself some time to restart.

Obviously, the early diagnosis doesn’t immediately cause panic in either player. What makes things a bit hairy is the aforementioned lack of depth, especially with the catcher when one or both of them need a trip to IL.

The Blue Jays have already recalled the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, alongside Kirk and Danny Jansen, in Heineman. Rob Brantly, the only other backstop in the minors with major league experience, is currently injured, as is 28-year-old Stevie Berman.

This leaves Jamie Ritchie and Karl Ellison the only two catchers on the Buffalo Bisons roster right now. Ritchie, 30, averaged .250 with more walks (18) than strikeouts (16) in the first 31 games of his tenure with the Blue Jays. He has extensive minor league experience and can even bounce around the field a bit, having played first base and corner outfield in the recent past.

The 28-year-old Ellison has made 24 appearances in three different minor league tiers this year and averages a .192, not including home runs and six runs driven. Of those pairs, I think Ritchie is the most likely option to be picked, but that won’t be the case either as the roster crisis continues in Triple-A.

It would likely be an easier task for the Blue Jays to replace García given the 40-man man has a fair number of weapons that could be recalled in his place. Jay Jackson, Thomas Hatch or even Hagen Danner are all considered possible contenders to break into the big leagues. The former two have both earned some appearances in the all-time greats this season and performed well, while the latter is an intriguing candidate in the system that is attracting quite a bit of attention. Chances are one of them will get the call if García needs some shelf time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *