As if the Toronto Blue Jays' season wasn't already off to a rocky start, things took a turn for the worse on Friday night when newly acquired shortstop Jose Reyes sprained his ankle and was carted off the field (via ESPN).
Apparently it was a pretty severe sprain because ESPN's Baseball Tonight Twitter account tweeted out this bit of information regarding Reyes' injury:
MRI on @bluejays SS Jose Reyes reveals no fracture, but a severe sprain of left ankle, likely out until All-Star break— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 13, 2013
With their star player potentially out for the next three months, the Blue Jays have some position changes to make. USA Today's Gabe Lacques reports that general manager Alex Anthopoulos has an idea of what Toronto's infield could look like in the coming days.
First, right fielder Jose Bautista would move in and play third base, a position he hasn't spent much time at since the 2008 season. It may take some time to get used to the position again, but ultimately I believe Bautista can man the hot corner just fine.
To cover right field, a combination of Rajai Davis, Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose will be used, which is an immediate downgrade from Bautista.
With Bautista moving to third, that would mean that Brett Lawrie—Toronto's everyday third baseman—would shift over to second base once he has returned from a rib injury.
For those who don't know, Lawrie came up as a second baseman in the Milwaukee Brewers' organization but has never played a major league game at the position. Lawrie wasn't the most effective fielder at second, committing at least 16 errors per season there, highlighted by 25 in 2010 with the Huntsville Stars.
In situations like double-play scenarios and steal situations, Lawrie could potentially be a liability in the field for Toronto.
The plan is for Maicer Izturis to man shortstop while Reyes is recovering, but Lacques' report suggests that Anthopoulos may look elsewhere for a shortstop to hold over the position until Reyes is healthy.
All in all, the Reyes injury has resulted in Toronto putting together a makeshift infield until he is healthy—a date that is still unknown at this point.
Not only are the Blue Jays affected in the infield, but they now lose their leadoff man and best hitter so far this season, as Reyes led Toronto in hits (15), steals (5), batting average (.395) and on-base percentage (.465).
I wasn't so sure bringing over part of the former Miami Marlins squad was going to pay off for the Blue Jays, but with Reyes sidelined for months and Toronto not even playing all that well with him on the field, the AL East may have just gotten a little bit easier for the rest of the competition.
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