Blue Jays get much-needed win on day rife with injury concerns

July 11th, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you’re under the age of 40, have stretched in the past decade and are in the San Francisco area, please contact the Toronto Blue Jays.

The injury news just kept coming Wednesday night, blow after blow to the present and future of the Blue Jays. Coming off Tuesday’s walk-off mess, a game the Blue Jays lost on a wild pitch, Wednesday felt like it could spiral completely out of control.

Let it be known that these Blue Jays will only allow five pieces of bad news in one day, though, never six. The offensive outburst gave the Blue Jays a 10-6 win over the Giants, piling on in the middle innings to pull the feeling of it all back in a better direction. It started with ’s three-run shot, his second in two nights, and the Blue Jays just kept hammering away with 14 hits.

“That was a changeup way down in the zone. It’s got to be all of the golf I was playing lately,” Clement said with a smile.

Here’s how the day of injury news played out before -- and after -- the 6:45 p.m. (local time) first pitch at Oracle Park.

• 4:50 p.m.: Manager John Schneider shares that Yimi García’s rehab outing will be pushed back for the second day in a row due to neck stiffness. García, who could still return just before the All-Star break, is one of the club’s best trade chips ahead of the July 30 Deadline.

• 5:46 p.m.: It was announced that No. 1 prospect (MLB Pipeline's No. 45 overall) Ricky Tiedemann, who had just returned to Triple-A Buffalo after dealing with ulnar nerve inflammation in his left elbow, left his first start back with forearm tightness. Tiedemann struggled through a rough inning on 27 pitches without his best velocity before exiting.

• 5:47 p.m.: The Blue Jays share that left-hander Adam Macko, the club’s No. 9 prospect who represents one of their best shots at developing in-house pitching depth for 2025, was placed on the Minor League IL with left forearm tightness.

• 7:35 p.m.: is removed from the game with a left knee contusion. An inning earlier, he got tangled up in an awkward play at first trying to lunge away from the tag of Logan Webb.

• 7:48 p.m.: One inning later, the Blue Jays took the field and wasn’t there. He’d been removed with right calf soreness, the same issue that landed him on the IL for 10 days in June.

Even third-base coach Carlos Febles got hurt. Seriously.

Febles felt a “pop” in his right knee early, which tightened up through the game to the point that field coordinator Gil Kim had to take over as a base coach.

“We’re going to call it bilateral hamstring discomfort for Carlos,” Schneider said, barely holding back his laughter. “No MRI or imaging needed for him.”

The injuries to Tiedemann and Macko -- while the severity is still unknown -- chew away at Toronto’s rotation depth, which has been too thin for years now and could soon lose Yusei Kikuchi at the Trade Deadline. The injuries to Varsho and Bichette are the more pressing short-term issues, of course, and left the Blue Jays with a two-man bench of Danny Jansen, a catcher, and Steward Berroa, a rookie outfielder the Blue Jays have shown no willingness to play outside of pinch-running spots.

Bichette is headed for an MRI, his injury generating more concern than Varsho’s.

“He wanted to stay in. He’s a gamer, I just didn’t want to take a chance,” Schneider said. “Whether he’s smelling a hit and busting out of the box or something else, a lot of things can happen. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”

The Blue Jays’ 40-man roster is stretched thin now, particularly on the position player side. Addison Barger would be an option, but the Blue Jays just optioned him back to Triple-A on Saturday to get regular playing time after he struggled. Brian Serven is another catcher. Nathan Lukes, an outfielder, is on the IL. That’s it.

Outside of the 40-man roster, No. 7 prospect Alan Roden just arrived at Triple-A but hasn’t exactly found his footing yet. Then there’s No. 14 prospect Damiano Palmegiani or the suddenly red-hot Gabriel Cancel, or perhaps Will Robertson or Cam Eden.

Battered and bruised, the Blue Jays have escaped the day. If one or two injuries can push the limits of the 40-man roster, though, the next three weeks could give it a completely different look.