Michael Saunders shut down for the season


According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi the Toronto Blue Jays will be shutting down OF Michael Saunders for the rest of the season to recover from the knee injury that he sustained way back at the start of spring training this season.

After coming to the Blue Jays from the Seattle Mariners in a trade with the Jays’ J.A Happ, Saunders landed in his home country of Canada excited to contribute to what could be a surging 2015 Blue Jays roster. Unfortunately, Saunders suffered a freak knee injury in spring training when he stepped on a sprinkler head shagging fly balls at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, their spring training facility.

In the days after the injury, it appeared Saunders would be back earlier than expected as he had the surgery to remove his torn meniscus instead of repairing it which would have held him out until the all-star break. In a seemingly fortuitous turn of events, Saunders would be back by late April or early May as Jays fans blew a collective sigh of relief.

When Saunders did return however, it wasn’t even for a cup of coffee. Really, it was more like a bad tasting sip. Saunders played nine games, with an ugly .194/.306/.194 slash and was -0.1 WAR, a far cry from his 2.0 WAR in 78 games last season. It was well known that Saunders was an injury concern when the Jays acquired him but no one could have seen this coming.

Saunders absence, dovetailed with prospect Dalton Pompey‘s inability to stay at the big leagues, forced GM Alex Anthopoulos to acquire a replacement left fielder for the time being in Ben Revere, making the aforementioned outfielders’s status opaque heading into the 2016 season. Anthopoulos insists that Saunders will remain the Jays left fielder going forward, but it’s impossible to put anything in stone with Saunder’s health uncertain while Revere and the Jays pursue October glory.

Among even the most recent winning days in Jays nation, this one is a tough one to swallow. It’s not like Happ is lighting up for the Mariners, but many Jays fans, including this Canadian, expected big things from Saunders. It looks like we will all have to wait until the often heard, “next year”.

Other Injury Notes:

Acccording to Davidi, second baseman Devon Travis is progressing much slower than expected and has not begun swinging in his quest to recover from a labouring shoulder surgery and join the big league club.