While the Toronto Blue Jays were relatively healthy in April and May, June and July saw the team lose several players to the disabled list.
Those injuries have been a major factor in Toronto’s struggles lately. The Blue Jays went 12-15 in June and have gotten a slow in start in July as well, going 4-7.
With its lack of depth being exposed and costing the team wins, Toronto desperately needs its regulars back from the DL as soon as possible.
Here’s an update on some of the Blue Jays’ high-profile injured players.
Edwin Encarnacion, First Baseman
Edwin Encarnacion was placed on the 15-day DL on July 7 (retroactive to July 6) with a right quadriceps strain.
The injury originally looked very serious when it occurred, and Encarnacion needed help to walk off the field, leading to fears that his season might be over. But things have looked up since then and the Blue Jays are hoping that they’ll have their first baseman back in a few weeks.
Toronto’s offense hasn’t looked the same without Encarnacion’s bat in the lineup. The 31-year-old was in the midst of another All-Star season, hitting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI and 57 runs scored.
The most optimistic prediction for Encarnacion’s return would be in late July. But it’s probably more realistic to expect him back in early August. Depending on how the Blue Jays are faring offensively by then, they may opt to have him skip a minor league rehab assignment and rejoin the team right away.
Brett Lawrie, Third Baseman
The Blue Jays placed Brett Lawrie on the 15-day DL on June 23 with a fractured right index finger.
Lawrie suffered the injury on June 22 during a game against the Cincinnati Reds. He was hit with a pitch during an at-bat against Reds starter Johnny Cueto. X-rays conducted after the game revealed the fracture.
Toronto’s third baseman was having a down year with the bat, hitting just .244/.299/.419 with 12 home runs, 38 RBI and 27 runs scored. But he was still a valuable contributor in the lineup and was one of the best hitters on the team with runners in scoring position, hitting .323.
Offensive numbers aside, Lawrie was also very versatile on defense. While normally a third baseman, he had often shifted to second base this season in order for the team to put out its best lineup.
Like Encarnacion, the Blue Jays also expect Lawrie back in late July or early August. Before making his return to the majors, he’ll likely head out to a minor league rehab assignment for a few days once his finger completely heals.
Adam Lind, Designated Hitter
Adam Lind was placed on the 15-day DL on July 11 (retroactive to July 8) with a non-displaced fracture in his right foot.
Lind’s foot problems began during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on June 14 when he fouled a ball off his right foot. He was initially diagnosed with a bone bruise and missed a few games. But when the pain continued to persist, the 30-year-old underwent an MRI, which revealed the fracture.
The Blue Jays have mainly used the left-handed Lind in a platoon role this season, usually only starting him against right-handed pitchers. He’s hitting .320/.389/.489 with four home runs, 27 RBI and 30 runs scored in 61 games.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Lind was initially expected to miss six to eight weeks after the fracture in his foot was found. But a second opinion was much more favorable and reduced that prognosis to two to three weeks.
*All stats from baseball-reference.com
**Injury reports from MLB.com
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