Spring time optimism hadn't event gotten time to grow stale before realism took it, put it in a toaster, turned the dial to 11 and left it to burn up into a black lump.
Michael Saunders is hurt again, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told the media in his briefing on Thursday morning. The Canadian outfielder, who was acquired from the Mariners this offseason in a trade for J.A. Happ, has torn a meniscus in a knee and is not even going to be back by Canada Day.
#BlueJays say Michael Saunders tore meniscus in knee. Out to all star break— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 26, 2015
I guess the positive here is that the Blue Jays medical staff found and diagnosed the problem right away.
At the end of the day it is not all that surprising to find that Saunders is hurt, as he has never played through a full season unscathed. In the past he has missed time with a shoulder sprain, shoulder inflammation, and an oblique strain. I just would've thought that he'd get injured on the turf in Montreal or at Rogers Centre, rather than in spring training. But I guess the Blue Jays play on crappy facilities there too, as Saunders got hurt stepping on a friggin' sprinkler shagging friggin' fly balls.
Michael Saunders stepped on soft spot around underground sprinkler on outfield grass while shagging flies yesterday. Left knee buckled.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 26, 2015
Freak accident? I think we can call it that. But it is a freak accident that is 100% preventable with proper facilities management. Because of that, the Blue Jays have lost their starting left fielder a bat in their lineup for 80-plus games in a year. But hey, now the front office will go and check on the conditions of the field their multi-million players play on. Now!
AA says they will check condition of field at the Mattick complex. Over the years players have spoken about a crater in Ctr. #bluejays— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) February 26, 2015
All is not lost, the season is not over before it begins, but damn it was a horrible thing to read right after breakfast.
Saunders says he never had a knee injury before but heard a pop and knew right away it was serious. #bluejays pic.twitter.com/7UBYIRqnkS— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) February 26, 2015
In terms of outfield depth, it looks like Kevin Pillar's chances to make the team has just increased as someone who can handle all three outfield positions. Chris Dickerson, Ezequiel Carrera, and Caleb Gindl are all options as either the left fielder or the fourth outfielder and they will battle Pillar for those two spots unless another outfielder is acquired.Perhaps the Jays won't getting a reliever out of Dioner Navarro after all.
LOL this franchise.
Not sure how close this is to where Saunders got injured but this is in LF at the #bluejays training complex pic.twitter.com/bjMVUiA1xL— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) February 26, 2015
Looks like a fresh grave, alright.
According to Gregor Chisholm, Andy Dirks will be back to doing "baseball activities" in a week or so. As a lefty, he could slot in well to replace Saunders temporarily if he is healthy and can hit at all.
Dirks will start baseball activities in 7-10 days. He could join Major League camp later this spring and enter the mix. #BlueJays— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) February 26, 2015
Dirks unlike to be ready by opening day, but Danny Valencia can play some left! I guess left field is really where they stick people who can run a little and throw a little.
Gibbons named Valencia as a guy who will see some time in LF this spring. He doesn't expect Dirks will be ready for opening day. #BlueJays— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) February 26, 2015