Just a few days after making an incredible catch against the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is being placed on the injured list, per club announcement. Nathan Lukes has been formally recalled to take Kiermaier's spot on the active roster.
Blue Jays place Kevin Kiermaier on the injured list with elbow laceration.
Kiermaier is being placed on the IL with a right elbow laceration that he sustained while making a jumping catch in center field at Fenway Park. After he made the catch, his elbow seemingly scraped up against the fencing in center field, resulting in Kiermaier's elbow bleeding to the point where he needed to be removed from the game. After Daulton Varsho started in last night's game and Lukes had joined the club as a member of the taxi squad, the writing seemed to be on the wall for where Kiermaier was headed.
On the season, Kiermaier, who is typically a relatively injury-prone player, has been remarkably healthy. The free agent-to-be earned some serious consideration for an All-Star Game nod (which would've been the first of his career) after emerging as a serious threat both on offense and defense. His numbers at the plate have dipped a bit in recent games, but he is still a dynamic player on both sides of the ball and has become a fan favorite.
In 95 games, the 33-year-old has five home runs, 27 runs batted in, 11 stolen bases, a .274 batting average and a cool 109 OPS+, which is the highest he's had in a single season since all the way back in 2017. The Blue Jays announced that his placement on the injured list is retroactive to August 7, so look for his stint on the shelf to be a short one as he recovers from that nasty cut on his elbow.
For Lukes, this represents yet another shot at some big league playing time for the 28-year-old rookie. He has spent the vast majority of the 2023 campaign on the big league roster but he has largely been used as an emergency baserunner or defensive replacement. In just 25 games in The Show this year, Lukes has four hits (including a double and a triple) with two driven in and a .190 batting average. Down in Triple-A, he has five home runs and 21 RBI with a .333 average and .978 OPS through 29 games.