Blue Jays: Trio of players get added to the injured list; Stripling returns
The injury bug has made its way through the Blue Jays roster once again, as three more players are being added to the 10-day injured list in Alejandro Kirk (flexor strain), Tommy Milone (shoulder inflammation), and Anthony Castro (right forearm strain). In corresponding roster moves, pitcher Ross Stripling will be returning from the injured list and starting today against the Atlanta Braves while southpaw Anthony Kay and catching prospect Riley Adams will be added to the roster.
The pitching corps has been decimated by injuries this season, with Milone and Castro being added to a list that has already claimed victims in Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Julian Merryweather, and Tom Hatch amongst a handful of others. Milone was being used as a long relief pitcher for the Blue Jays this season following the opener during most of his outings and currently sports a 6.43 ERA and a 1.643 WHIP after getting touched for four earned runs yesterday against the Atlanta Braves. Castro has been stellar for the club in his relief role since being added to the active roster, having yet to allow an earned run while striking out nine over 7.1 innings, looking like an absolute steal of a waiver wire pickup this past off-season.
The news is also tough to hear for Kirk, who had a slow start to the campaign but has recently started to perform well in the batter’s box. He currently sports a .225/.326/.475 with three home runs and eight RBI over 46 plate appearances. The 5’8 catcher was starting to gain momentum and was outperforming his counterpart Danny Jansen until being pulled from the game last night and subsequently placed on the injured list today.
On the flip side of the injury news, Ross Stripling will be returning from the IL and will be making the start today against the Atlanta Braves.
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Before going down with the injury, the right-hander struggled in his two starts this season, going 8.1 innings while surrendering seven earned runs and two home runs while striking out ten. Anthony Kay will also be brought back to the active roster and could be used either as a starter or in the bullpen if needed. In his one start against the Kansas City Royals earlier this year, Kay would go 3.1 innings while giving up four earned runs and striking out three, losing the game due to some timely hits from the Royals and some poor defensive miscues from the Blue Jays.
To replace Kirk, the Blue Jays have called upon #18 ranked prospect Riley Adams to back up Jansen. Adams has spent the past three years in the minor leagues, making his way to AA in 2019 and was slated to start in AAA before being added to the roster. In 251 games within the Jays farm system, Adams sports a .265/.363/.410 line with 21 home runs and 129 RBI with a .773 OPS while also being ranked by Baseball America as the organization’s best power hitter in 2020. He will not be making the start this afternoon but could factor into a few games over the next ten days as the Blue Jay’s next off-day is not until May 10th (next Monday).
With more players being added to the injured list, the Blue Jays depth charts are being stretched to their absolute thinnest it can go and the organization may have to start looking for outside replacements if some of the pitching staff is going to be out for the long term.