Estrada placed on DL with lower back issue

Blue Jays righty will miss All-Star Game; Hutchison to face Tigers

July 6th, 2016

TORONTO -- A day after being named an All-Star for the first time in his career, Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada was placed 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, and has been ruled out for Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego.

Estrada has been dealing with soreness in his lower back since the middle of June, and received multiple cortisone shots on Monday. The right-hander was initially scheduled to start Thursday's series opener against the Tigers, but the Blue Jays will hand the ball to right-hander Drew Hutchison in Estrada's place.

The Blue Jays had discussed pushing Estrada back to start either Friday or Saturday, but the decision was made to give him extra rest through the break.

"It's something that I didn't want to hear," Estrada said prior to the series finale against the Royals on Wednesday. "I thought I was going to be able to find my way through it, but I think we're doing the right thing. It was taken out of my hands. I was told today, 'Listen, this is what you need to do and you're going to have to go on the DL.' It's something I didn't want to hear, but I know this is the best thing to do right now. We still have a lot of games to play, and I need to be healthy for this team."

The 33-year-old Estrada still plans to attend the All-Star festivities at Petco Park with his family, but he'll be stuck in the role of observer instead of active participant. Even so, Estrada says he's looking forward to soaking in his first All-Star experience. His spot on the American League's active roster was filled by Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.

"Right now the best thing to do is take some time off and just enjoy this," Estrada said. "I'm still going to be a part of the team. I'll be there supporting the guys and I'll just enjoy every minute of it."

If a reserve or a pitcher is unable to play, the league manager -- in this case, Kansas City's Ned Yost -- and the Commissioner's Office work together to decide the replacement. Yost acknowledged prior to Wednesday's game that Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez is on the AL skipper's short list of players who could be named as an injury replacement.

"I've got four or five guys in mind," Yost said on Wednesday. "That is always the case. If a reliever goes down, I got a list of possible replacements. Same thing for infielders and outfielders. There are plenty of deserving guys."

Estrada is expected to return during the first homestand after the All-Star break. The veteran does not usually throw bullpens between his starts, but is expected to throw one before taking the mound for his first outing off the DL.

"I'll throw in between just because it's such a long break," Estrada said. "That will kind of tell me more about how my back is feeling. But I figure once the All-Star break is over, I'll be back to 100 percent, or at least close to it."

Hutchison will be making his third appearance -- and second start -- of the season on Thursday. The 25-year-old has given up four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. To add some depth in their bullpen, the Blue Jays also recalled right-hander Bo Schultz from Triple-A Buffalo. The 30-year-old has pitched 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball over three relief appearances this season.