News and Notes: Kevin Gausman to throw a sim game on Wednesday, no timetable for Joey Votto’s return, and more!

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
28 days ago
Remember last season when Blue Jays pitchers remained in good health? Pepperidge Farms remembers.
This spring, numerous pitchers have dealt with injuries, such as Alek Manoah and Yariel Rodríguez. In the latest News and Notes, we’ll look at some health updates from some Blue Jays pitchers as well as a fan-favourite position player.

Kevin Gausman update

It’s not a good sign that the Blue Jays ace has yet to throw a pitch in Grapefruit League action. However, Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae reported that he’ll throw a sim game at the Player Development Complex on Wednesday.
Gausman has been out with a shoulder injury and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll pitch in the first series of the season. In fact, it was announced on Tuesday morning that José Berríos would get the Opening Day assignment for the second time in three seasons.
Last season, Gausman finished third in American League Cy Young voting, posting a 3.16 ERA and a 2.97 FIP in 185 innings pitched. This included a 31.1 K% and a 7.2 BB%, with the walk rate up from 3.9% the season prior.
Moreover, Mae listed the starters for the upcoming games, with Bowden Francis starting on Wednesday, Ricky Tiedemann on Thursday, Mitch White on Friday, and Yusei Kikuchi as well as Yariel Rodríguez in split-squad action on Saturday
Hopefully he only misses a handful of starts to begin the season.

Jordan Romano update

According to Mae, Blue Jays’ closer Jordan Romano has some throwing elbow inflammation, but his MRI showed no structural issues.
Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like too big of an issue, as Mae notes he’ll be ramping back up in the near future, which is a good sign. Romano is an important part of this team, as he had a 2.90 ERA and  a 3.46 FIP in 59 innings pitched in his third season as Toronto’s closer.
Last season, Romano had 36 saves which was tied for the fifth-most in the major leagues with Devin Williams. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Romano has had 97 saves in 109 attempts, blowing just four total saves in 40 attempts in 2023.
Once again, hopefully, it’s nothing serious, and Romano is ready for Opening Day.

Erik Swanson update

Erik Swanson is seen as the backup closer/setup man, but he, too, is dealing with an injury, according to Mae. Swanson has right forearm tightness, but there’s no injury or inflammation meaning that he’ll have the next couple of days off before pitching again.
It’s hard not to feel for Swanson, as his son Toby was in the hospital for a while after getting hit by a vehicle. The reliever was away from the team for a while, as to be expected, and already missed a chunk of Spring Training. Now, with the latest injury, which doesn’t seem too serious, thankfully, Swanson is going to miss a couple of days.
We’ll see if he’s ready for Opening Day, but hopefully this season will go significantly better than the past month or so has for him.

Joey Votto update

After hitting a first-pitch home run, you may recall that Joey Votto rolled his ankle on a loose bat in the dugout. Mae reports that he took batting practice on Tuesday and is still day-to-day, with no timetable for his return to Spring Training.
The future Hall of Famer spent 17 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds before signing a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training with his hometown team. Last season was an unusual one for Votto, as he posted a career-low slashline of .202/.314/.433, with the batting average and the on base percentage being the lowest marks of his career.
Now 40 years old, this could possibly be Votto’s last season, and rolling his ankle after just one plate appearance isn’t a great way to start 2024, especially considering his Spring Training started later than most players’.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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