Top prospect Bichette fractures left hand

Toronto's No. 2 prospect out indefinitely; team to go with 4-man rotation until May 4

April 23rd, 2019

TORONTO -- Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette is out for an indefinite period of time after he was diagnosed with a broken left hand.

Toronto announced on Tuesday afternoon that Bichette has a fractured second metacarpal in his left hand. The Blue Jays have yet to establish a firm timeline for Bichette's return, but this type of injury typically takes six to eight weeks to rehab.

According to the Blue Jays' public relations department, Bichette will meet with team doctors and a hand specialist in the coming days to determine his next step. The shortstop can safely be ruled out of action until at least the start of June, and likely longer than that.

Bichette sustained the injury when he was struck on the left hand by a pitch during Saturday's game for Triple-A Buffalo. The Bisons' game was postponed after two innings because of rain, but Bichette was hit during the first inning and immediately came out.

The 21-year-old was batting .250/.310/.404 with one home run and three doubles in 14 games for the Bisons this season. Bichette is ranked as Toronto's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 10 in all of baseball.

The four-man rotation

The Blue Jays are expected to go with a four-man rotation until May 4 after losing right-hander Matt Shoemaker for the rest of the season because of a torn left ACL. Shoemaker became the third Toronto starter this year to go with down with a serious injury. The club has yet to receive any innings from lefties Ryan Borucki and Clayton Richard, who are on the injured list.

The Blue Jays enjoyed an off-day on Monday, have another one scheduled for Thursday and will be off yet again on May 29. That means Toronto is able to go almost two full weeks before needing to add another starter to the 25-man roster. In the meantime, the Blue Jays will move forward with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Clay Buchholz and rookie Trent Thornton.

"We're talking about it," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. "I think, for now, we might go with a four-man rotation because of the days off we've got."

Injury updates

• Borucki (left elbow inflammation) and right-hander John Axford (stress reaction, right elbow) are scheduled to be evaluated on Friday. Borucki recently received a cortisone shot and will be out until at least late May. Axford is facing a lengthy rehab process, but surgery was ruled out late last month.

• Reliever David Phelps is inching closer to starting a rehab assignment. Phelps, who has been working his way back since last year's Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session on Saturday. Minor League right-hander Julian Merryweather is in a similar situation, as he also recovers from Tommy John surgery. He tossed two innings in a simulated game on Tuesday.

• Richard (stress reaction, right knee) continued his long-toss program in recent days and is scheduled for a bullpen session this weekend in Florida.


"He showed it to me, but I didn't have my glasses on. So I said, 'Which one is it?'" -- Montoyo, on the broken fingernail on Aaron Sanchez's right hand. Sanchez did not throw on Tuesday, but he's expected to make his next scheduled start on Saturday vs. Oakland.