Blue Jays place yet another pitcher on the IL prior to series finale against Royals

The hits just keep coming, and not the kind this Blue Jays team desperately needs.
Apr 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Bowden Francis (44) reacts
Apr 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Bowden Francis (44) reacts / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Early on in the 2024 campaign, the Toronto Blue Jays' depth is being put to the test in a big way. Alek Manoah is slowly working his way back from injury, Chad Green is on the shelf with a strained shoulder and Kevin Kiermaier just went down with left hip flexor inflammation as well.

On Thursday, the Blue Jays took to social media (X link) to announce that yet another pitcher is hitting the shelf. This time, right-hander Bowden Francis is being placed on the injured list with right forearm extensor tendinitis. In his place, left-handed reliever Brendon Little is being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.

Blue Jays place Bowden Francis on the injured list

Francis, 28, made the Opening Day roster as a starting pitcher, a role he took on for the first time in the major leagues. While neither of his starts went all that well, he remained on the active roster when Yariel Rodriguez was recalled, but as a reliever instead. Francis has ran into some troubles with keeping runners off the bases and runs off the board, btu it's worth noting that his last two outings have been of the shutout variety.

Last Friday against the Padres and Wednesday night against the Royals, Francis went two innings each while not allowing more than two hits and zero runs. Right when he was beginning to find a groove as a multi-inning relief weapon, he is taken out of action.

Little was acquired this past offseason via waiver claim from the Cubs. He's got only one big league outing under his belt, but his nine-outing stint in Buffalo this year clearly showed he's ready for another go-round in the majors. In nine outings this year, the 27-year-old had a 2.89 ERA with 16 strikeouts in just 9.1 innings of work. He gives the Blue Jays yet another left-handed relief option, but it's important for the Jays to ride the arm of whoever's hottest at any given time, regardless of handedness.