The Blue Jays are already without, among others, George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Nate Pearson, and the team was dealt another couple of blows on Wednesday morning.
Julian Merryweather is going on the 10-day Injured List with a left oblique strain. He left last night’s game after throwing just a few pitches with what the team called a hip issue. This is obviously really, really unfortunate as Merryweather has been excellent and Toronto’s bullpen is already without Tyler Chatwood. This leaves either Rafael Dolis or Jordan Romano as the closer.
Coming up in Merryweather’s place will be Anthony Castro, who the team claimed off waivers from the Detroit Tigers back in December. Castro has just one inning at the big-league level but pitched fairly well for the team in spring training and was in the mix to crack the team right up until the end. Castro tossed nine-and-one-third Grapefruit innings and struck out 15 batters.
David Phelps is listed as day-to-day after getting drilled by a liner last night. He won’t go on the Injured List but also won’t be available tonight.
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And then there’s Ross Stripling, who was supposed to start today, but won’t due to forearm tightness. T.J. Zeuch, who was supposed to start on Thursday in Kansas City, will go in his place on normal rest as his last start came on Friday against the Angels.
The challenge for the Blue Jays now will become finding a new starter for tomorrow’s game in Kansas City. The team could call up somebody like Anthony Kay, they could do a bullpen game, which probably wouldn’t be ideal given the injuries there, or they could use Tanner Roark, who was just relegated to the bullpen. Using Roark in Kansas City, a pitcher-friendly park, would probably make sense. And if the team doesn’t trust him to do a spot start in this situation, there’s really not much point in having him around.
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Thankfully for the Blue Jays, they have a couple of off-days coming up. They’re off on Monday after the Kansas City series and then they’re off again on Thursday after a two-game series in Boston. That’ll make it a bit easier to navigate these injuries.