Hidden behind the cheers of the Blue Jays fourth straight series win, was the reality that this team has, and still is, dealing with their fair share of injuries. A quick look at the line-up for Sunday’s series finale with the Minnesota Twins would quickly cement that.
Take a look for yourself and tell me who you see missing?
Noticeably missing from Sunday’s line-up was first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. Toronto’s most consistent run producer each of the last two seasons, Encarnacion was given the day off to nurse a sore left wrist, which he apparently tweaked while taking a swing on Saturday night. With the Blue Jays having an off-day on Monday before returning home to face the Angels on Tuesday, John Gibbons opted to give Encarnacion the day off in hopes that the two straight days would help things sort themselves out.
Encarnacion is not expected to miss any significant amount of time, but given the Blue Jays recent success in being decidedly Bill Belichick-esqe in regards to being upfront on severity of injuries (ahem, Jose Bautista, ahem, Colby Rasmus), we’ll wait until we see EE step back on the field. When that happens, he’s return to a solid .276 average, and the team lead in OPS (.917), home runs (36), and RBI (104).
One name in Sunday’s line-up that was a welcome sight was Moises Sierra. The young outfielder call-up left Saturday’s game with tightness in his lower back. Given Toronto’s outfield depth at the present time, losing Sierra would create a tremendously difficult spot to fill. Nevertheless, Sierra returned to the line-up on Sunday, going 0-4 in the game. However, he was 6 for his last 18 before leaving on Saturday, with 5 doubles and a home run in that span, so the Blue Jays will hope he’ll continue the hot hitting.
Cabrera, already finished for the season with lingering leg issues, went through the procedure to remove the tumor from the L1 vertabrae without complications in late August, but the team waited to release the information until it knew the tumor was benign. What makes the tumors position interesting is the fact that it could have lead to some of Cabrera’s leg issues.
“As the tumor grows, it starts to push on your nerve and causes complete weakness in the legs. That’s why we’d find inflammation and things like that, but we never found a tear,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.”
Cabrera is expected to make a full recovery and join the Blue Jays for spring training in 2014. He will be under contract next season with a salary of $8 million. He’ll look to improve upon a season where he hit .279 with a .682 OPS, 3 home runs, and 30 RBI while playing at roughly replacement level.