Mar 27, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Casey Janssen (44) in the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays finally made the move that everyone thought they should, placing closer Casey Janssen on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 29th. While the move was expected, the listed injury was a bit of a surprise as Janssen’s official listed injury was a lower back/abdominal strain according to Mike Wilner.
In response, the Blue Jays will recall Erik Kratz from the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Kratz was a late cut from camp, as the Blue Jays opted to use Josh Thole as the primary back-up catcher and personal backstop for R.A. Dickey.
The move also means that the Blue Jays will not begin the season with an 8-man bullpen as originally discussed. Instead, the team will carry three catchers, with either Kratz or Dioner Navarro likely to serve as platoon partners for designated hitter Adam Lind in the opening week when the Blue Jays will face solid lefties in David Price and C.C. Sabathia.
While there was optimism that Janssen would be able to begin the season with limited spring action, just as he did a season ago. However, that optimism crumbled on Saturday, when Janssen was very flat in his outing against the Mets and was hit hard. At first, it appeared that he hadn’t built up enough arm strength to be effective, but it looks like an abdominal strain was to blame.