TORONTO -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has become the Blue Jays' starting shortstop after Aledmys Diaz was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with a sprained left ankle.Diaz rolled his ankle while running out a ground ball during Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. X-rays were
TORONTO -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has become the Blue Jays' starting shortstop after Aledmys Diaz was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with a sprained left ankle.
Diaz rolled his ankle while running out a ground ball during Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. X-rays were negative, but the Blue Jays have yet to release the results of his MRI and instead said that Diaz will be re-evaluated in 10 days.
Urena is expected to see a little bit of playing time all over the field. He'll be the primary backup for Gurriel at shortstop, Yangervis Solarte at second base and Josh Donaldson at third. Gurriel didn't play a lot of shortstop at Double-A while sharing the field with Bo Bichette, but he's made four appearances at short for Toronto.
"From what I've seen, I think he's more comfortable at short right now, and I'm talking about because of the throw, he likes to cut it loose," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who has also used Gurriel at second base. "The throw from second, he has a good arm, and I think the distance has kind of messed with him a little bit, cutting the ball loose."
Diaz became Toronto's starting shortstop when Troy Tulowitzki underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in each of his feet at the start of the season. Tulowitzki is currently on the 60-day DL, and there remains no definitive timetable for his return.
The 24-year-old Gurriel, who has appeared in 16 games for the Blue Jays this season, is batting .236/.263/.364 in 57 plate appearances.
"I think he's played better than his numbers indicate," Gibbons said. "He continues to put up good at-bats. He does a lot of good things. He has hit some breaking balls, fouled off some breaking balls. I like everything he's doing, I really do, and he's a confident kid."
Closer by committee?
The Blue Jays will be auditioning candidates for the closer's role after it was revealed on Tuesday afternoon that Roberto Osuna was placed on administrative leave after being charged with assault. Gibbons declined to name one specific reliever for the role and instead left the door open for multiple candidates to fill in depending on the situation.
Veterans Seunghwan Oh and John Axford both spent multiple seasons as full-time closers in the Major Leagues. Right-hander Dennis Tepera has been Toronto's primary setup man -- and arguably Toronto's best reliever after Osuna -- with a 2.70 ERA over 16 2/3 innings this season.
"We'll kind of see how the game develops, see what it takes to get to the ninth inning," Gibbons said. "We've got a few guys who could [close]. Tepera could do it, Oh could do it, Ax could even do it. Still feel pretty good about what's down there."
Pearson fractures ulna
Toronto's top pitching prospect Nate Pearson is expected to be out for at least the next couple of months after he fractured the ulna bone in his right arm during an appearance for Class A Advanced Dunedin on Monday night.
The Blue Jays announced that Pearson sustained a non-displaced fracture in his throwing arm and will be re-evaluated in approximately four to six weeks. At that time, Pearson will meet with the club's medical staff and doctors to determine the next steps of his rehab.
The 21-year-old Pearson is ranked as the Blue Jays' No. 4 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. The injury occurred in his first appearance of the season after he was previously sidelined with a minor back issue. Pearson consistently hits upper 90s with his fastball and is generally regarded as one of the better pitching prospects in the game.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.