Blue Jays place Matt Chapman on injured list, recall Triple-A standout

Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman is heading to the 10-day IL and a familiar face is rejoining the team in his stead.
Cleveland Guardians v Toronto Blue Jays
Cleveland Guardians v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Monday afternoon that third baseman Matt Chapman is heading to the 10-day IL with a right middle finger sprain, per Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic.

After mysteriously vanishing in the bottom of the sixth inning during Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Guardians, the move to the IL doesn't come as a big surprise. Chapman has been dealing with the finger issue since hurting the digit in a weight room incident on August 13.

The 30-year-old only missed three games, thanks largely to a pair of off days, but has struggled since returning to the lineup, no doubt due to the sore finger. In nine games, the Blue Jays' everyday third baseman hit an abysmal .156/.229/.188 with only one RBI while striking out at a 40 percent clip.

Since a blistering start to the year, Chapman has slumped to a .211/.303/.360 slash line and an 85 wRC+ since the beginning of May. On the season, Chapman is hitting .248 with a .769 OPS with 25 home runs and 50 RBI in 125 games.

He'll be replaced on the roster by a familiar face, Ernie Clement, who has been recalled from Triple-A Buffalo for his fourth stint with the big club. The 27-year-old infielder has appeared in 13 games this season for the Jays, mostly in a pinch-hitting or pinch-running capacity. He has made the most of his limited at-bats, gathering four hits in his 10 plate appearances.

The choice to recall Clement may seem underwhelming for fans champing at the bit for a look at prospects Orelvis Martinez or Addison Barger, but Clement has earned his place as the first in line for a call-up.

In 69 games with the Bisons, primarily splitting time between shortstop and third base, Clement has a .339/.394/.533 slash line with 11 home runs, 55 RBI, 55 runs and 12 stolen bases.

With the season hanging in the balance, hopefully Chapman's stay on the IL is minimal, and the Jays get him back at the hot corner fully healthy before time runs out.