By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Marcus Stroman, Randal Grichuk, Steve Pearce, Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.), Carlos Ramirez. No, I'm not just naming names. That's the list of the walking wounded in camp so far this year.
Now, this article involves a lot of knocking on wood. But clubs always underplay the severity of injuries in spring training. Let's start with the big names. Troy Tulowitzki is dealing with a heel spur and has been eased into camp. On March 4, CBC reported that John Gibbons said "I don't expect he'll be ready. But he's moving in the right direction."
Josh Donaldson is "dehydrated" but is also dealing with an arm that's "hanging" (in Gibby parlance) and a nagging calf issue.
How about Randal Grichuk who apparently has something wrong with his ribs and is being held out of games so that it doesn't turn "into something," according to Keegan Matheson. Grichuk, of course, had a sprained wrist earlier in the season.
All I've been able to find on Carlos Ramirez is that he has "shoulder soreness" and would pitch in a few days. That report was five days ago and people are now saying that they might put him on the 60-day DL in order to make room on the roster.
Steve Pearce has a "mild calf strain" and hasn't played since March 4. Canadian Dalton Pompey has a wrist issue and is getting an MRI.
The only "good" news is that Marcus Stroman felt great after throwing in the bullpen. He's going to throw again on Saturday (possibly in the game against the Canadian Junior National team). Gibbons also said that Stroman may pitch in the first series but not on Opening Day, which, as we might expect, displeased young Marcus, according to Mike Wilner.
The Stroman news is good. The fact that there is only one pitcher among these players who is expected to start the season with Toronto and who many not really miss any time on the DL is very encouraging, considering the trouble we had last year keeping pitchers healthy. But this team, which was among the worst in the league in hitting last year is struggling to keep players on the field and hitters in the lineup.
The Blue Jays did acquire more depth in the offseason by acquiring Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz as well as signing Curtis Granderson for the outfield but in this configuration, 4/9 of their starting lineup is out. While Granderson's hot spring is fantastic and Russell Martin playing third the occasional day, seeing Alford, Diaz, Urena, Smith Jr. and Leblebijian filling out the bottom of the lineup is not entirely encouraging. As much as I like these guys, (especially Alford), it's frustrating when the people your team is paying an awful lot of money to play (and hopefully win) games are not in the lineup.
Hopefully these injuries are minor and will clear up soon. Hopefully we'll go north with Donaldson and Grichuk and Pearce and Stroman all healthy.
Knock on wood.
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