J.A. Happ was forced to leave yesterday’s game early with a strained elbow, building upon the already-unhealthy Blue Jay core early in the season with perhaps the most serious injury to date. The official word from the Blue Jays was that Happ experienced “left elbow soreness.” He’ll undergo a MRI today to fully asses the situation.
“I felt kind of a pull, a tug in my elbow,” Happ told Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet. “And then I went back out there for the fifth and it just got progressively worse. We’re going to find out what’s going on in there and then make a decision from there, but it was enough that I was starting to lose effectiveness, which was disappointing because I felt like the game was going well. I was kind of establishing myself again. Bouncing back from that game before a little bit. So, it’s a little concerning and definitely frustrating.”
The most interesting and perhaps fatal part of Happ’s injury is how he described it’s progression - or, rather, lack of progression. “[It came] out of nowhere... There’s potential for good news here, and hopefully that’s what we get.”
Yesterday’s game was forgettable. So forgettable, in fact, I don’t even remember watching it. Oh, wait - I didn’t. (I’ll play that cool and pretend it was because I didn’t care or something, when it was actually because I was busy with Easter stuff, all the while wishing I could watch the game.) Anyways, Toronto lost 11-4. On the plus side, Kevin Pillar hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth and we no longer have to suffer through miserable Happ(y) puns.
That makes me Happ(y).
Aaron Sanchez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with the effects of a blister yesterday morning. In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays have recalled Matt Dermody from triple-A Buffalo. Shi Davidi tweets that Sanchez’s blister initially split on Friday in his start against the Orioles.
Sanchez is expected to visit a hand specialist in Kansas City to “get the blister issue figured out once and for all,” as Arash Madani tweets. Laura Armstrong reports that Sanchez had altered his pitching mechanics to relieve the load placed on his pitching hand, which is a dangerous step to take.
With an off-day today, the Blue Jays could logically skip Sanchez’s scheduled start on April 20th, keeping the need for Sanchez on the roster at bay until April 22nd against the Anaheim Angels.
More injury news: The Baltimore Orioles have placed star closer Zach Britton on the 10-day disabled list. The injury, a left forearm strain, was first felt against the Blue Jays on Friday, when he allowed one run and three hits but still got the save, his 53rd straight. “We think it will manage itself if we take the right precautions,” manager Buck Showalter told Steve Melewski of MASN Sports.
Even more injury news: Hanley Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox left yesterday’s game with a hamstring cramp, as announced by the team. Ramirez aggravated his left leg when taking a hard turn around second base. Despite his injury, the Red Sox still eventually won the game, pushing their record to 7-5.
One (potential) positive of this dismal start - the Blue Jays are still making money. Their new marketing scheme, selling a “Grilli cheese sandwich”, has quickly become a massive success. Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star eyeballed the line prior to yesterday’s game at more than 100 people. Take a look at the pictures yourself below.
The line for a @GrillCheese49 grilled cheese sandwich is insane. Goes all the way around the bend. Has to be 100+ people. pic.twitter.com/e58CfvuPl2— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) April 16, 2017
The line up for the @GrillCheese49 sandwich. pic.twitter.com/FoBoBoQ6pG— Tim Langton (@TRLangton) April 16, 2017
grilled Grilli cheese sandwiches better be good.
AL East score roundup:
- As if things couldn’t get worse, Kevin Pillar was hit with a foul ball while warming up in the on-deck circle during yesterday’s game. Thankfully, he was uninjured. Seriously, the baseball gods have something against this team.
- John Gibbons told reporters that it’s unlikely that Joe Biagini is stretched out, even with the injury of Happ. He said that the injuries to both Sanchez and Happ would likely be handled via minor league call-ups.
- Buster Olney of ESPN reported yesterday that rival executives are already speculating what Blue Jay players may be on the market if their horrid start continues. “If Toronto cannot execute a performance U-turn as dramatic as its early-season plummet, evaluators say the Jays could focus on a rebuild and provide a lot of the more attractive players in the market -- particularly starting pitchers, a sparse commodity before last year’s deadline.” His list includes Happ, Francisco Liriano, Marco Estrada, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki.
Follow Mark Colley on Instagram and Twitter at @360BlueJayNews and @MarkColley.