TORONTO -- The Blue Jays just can't seem to catch a break with the health of their 25-man roster, as Francisco Liriano became the latest addition to the 10-day disabled list on Thursday afternoon.Liriano hit the DL with left shoulder inflammation in an unexpected announcement that came just as Toronto
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays just can't seem to catch a break with the health of their 25-man roster, as Francisco Liriano became the latest addition to the 10-day disabled list on Thursday afternoon.
Liriano hit the DL with left shoulder inflammation in an unexpected announcement that came just as Toronto was opening its clubhouse to the media. Liriano pitched the night before but could not make it out of the third inning as he allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks in the Blue Jays' 8-7 win over Cleveland.
Toronto has been one of the hardest-hit clubs, in terms of injuries, in all of baseball this season. Liriano joins a lengthy DL that currently includes Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez. That's approximately $85 million in 2017 salary.
"[Liriano] has shoulder tightness," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He felt it last night. We don't think it's a big deal. ... You just deal with it, you know? It's an expensive DL, though, I'll tell you that."
Gibbons said that Wednesday night was the first time Liriano mentioned shoulder soreness to the coaching staff, but it could be one reason behind his slightly diminished velocity this season. According to Statcast™, Liriano's two-seam fastball has averaged 92.10 mph this season, compared to 93.04 in 2016. During Wednesday's outing against the Indians, Liriano started off in the 89- to 90-mph range with his two-seamer, but he was back into the 92-93 range by the second.
Liriano's injury provides yet another dilemma for a Toronto team that has yet to field its full complement of players at any point this season. Sanchez is set to return from his right middle finger injury on Sunday vs. Seattle, but Happ still does not have a timetable for his return. Liriano now will miss at least a couple of starts.
Right-hander Joe Biagini will continue to fill one of those holes, while Mike Bolsinger has all but officially earned another start. Bolsinger was expected to be a one-and-done as a starter, but he limited Cleveland to a pair of runs over 5 2/3 strong innings earlier this week, and Liriano's sore shoulder means he will get another opportunity.
"That's probably what will happen, he'll take his spot," Gibbons said of Bolsinger. "Sanchy will go Sunday, and [Bolsinger will] go Monday."
Toronto recalled right-hander Leonel Campos from Triple-A Buffalo to take Liriano's spot on the roster. Campos made one appearance for the Blue Jays earlier this season and allowed one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He had a 2.31 ERA over 11 2/3 innings for Buffalo this season.
Morales to avoid DL
The injury news was not all bad for the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon as Gibbons confirmed designated hitter Kendrys Morales is expected to avoid the DL. Morales strained his left hamstring during the game against Cleveland on Tuesday night, and he was held out of the lineup during each of the following two games.
The hope all along was that Morales would return in a few days, and it seems like that will come to fruition. He was feeling better Thursday and could make his return to the lineup any day.
"He felt good," Gibbons said. "I don't think he's going to need a DL. In the next couple of days, I think maybe the plan is tomorrow he might be able to come off the bench, pinch-hit, that type of thing, and then we'll see where he's at. But he felt really good today. That's good news."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.