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Tulowitzki fitted for a cast, timetable unclear

Small chance Blue Jays shortstop returns this season
MLB.com @gregorMLB

CHICAGO -- Troy Tulowitzki's injured right foot has been placed in a cast and it seems increasingly unlikely that he will return this season.

Tulowitzki sprained his right ankle while running to first base during Friday's 7-2 loss to the Angels. He was sent for an MRI the following day, which revealed ligament damage. He was scheduled to visit a foot/ankle specialist early this week.

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CHICAGO -- Troy Tulowitzki's injured right foot has been placed in a cast and it seems increasingly unlikely that he will return this season.

Tulowitzki sprained his right ankle while running to first base during Friday's 7-2 loss to the Angels. He was sent for an MRI the following day, which revealed ligament damage. He was scheduled to visit a foot/ankle specialist early this week.

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That meeting appears to have taken place with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons revealing on Monday afternoon that Tulowitkzi is now wearing a cast. Tulowitzki technically has an outside chance of returning before the end of the season but these injuries usually take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

"We'll get more information, we'll see," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Monday evening. "It's something that we're learning about on a daily basis. I'm confident he will return strong and the timing of that, we'll have more clarity on over the next week."

Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney are expected to continue platooning at shortstop during Tulowitzki's absence. Infielder Rob Refsnyder, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo when Tulowitzki went on the DL, likely will continue to see a lot of playing time at second.

Rotation plans

The Blue Jays have yet to officially announce their plans for the rotation following Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline but because of a pair of off-days the club won't require a fifth starter until Aug. 12.

Toronto currently has two spots in its rotation up for grabs. One spot became available when lefty Francisco Liriano was dealt to the Astros on Monday afternoon while another was likely created when right-hander Cesar Valdez allowed seven runs over two innings on Sunday vs. the Angels.

Right-hander Mike Bolsinger is a logical candidate to step into a starting role while Triple-A Buffalo starter Nick Tepesch also could receive some consideration. Bolsinger made five starts for the Blue Jays earlier this season and he has a 5.49 ERA over 41 innings with the big league club.

"We don't know yet," Gibbons said. "Everything just happened. We haven't talked about that yet."

Worth noting:

• Lefties Brett Oberholtzer and J.P. Howell were promoted from Triple-A Buffalo following Monday's Trade Deadline deals of Liriano and reliever Joe Smith. Howell is coming off a lengthy rehab assignment with Buffalo that saw him post a 6.43 ERA over eight appearances. Oberholtzer had a 4.48 ERA over 18 starts for the Bisons.

• Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (blister) went through some light towel work prior to Monday night's game against the White Sox. He was recently placed on the DL for the third time this season because of a blister on his right middle finger and it's not immediately clear when he will be able to resume throwing off a mound.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Troy Tulowitzki