Blue Jays reliever Erik Swanson away from team as son recovers from car accident

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays
Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

It was announced this morning that Erik Swanson's son was hit by a car this past Sunday. After being attended to by first responders in Clearwater, he was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he is now on the road to recovery.

This incredibly scary situation highlights how these athletes are still just human beings. John Schneider stated that Swanson will be away from the Blue Jays "for a while", as him and his wife accompany their four year old son Toby while he recovers from this life threatening incident.

While Swanson should take all the time he needs off the field to look after his family, the Blue Jays are still in good shape on the field in terms of bullpen depth. The bullpen depth was a strength of this club heading into the season, and remains so despite being down a high leverage reliever for likely a good deal of time.

Starting off the season with a healthy Chad Green this time of year helps, but this also opens the door for guys like Bowden Francis and Mitch White to break camp with the club. This could also increase Yariel Rodriguez's chances of doing the same, if the organization would opt for that route rather than build him up in Triple-A Buffalo.

This has also bumped younger, less proven pitchers up on the depth chart. Hagen Danner, Yosver Zulueta, and Nate Pearson could all see an earlier call to the big leagues should an injury occur. Danner has yet to throw this spring, and is someone to keep an eye on after recent minor league success. The latter two were shelled in their recent spring outings, but showed some glimmers of hope. Pearson debuted his new splitter, inducing a swinging strikeout in his lone spring appearance. Zulueta filled the zone with good velocity, but was around the middle of the plate too much as he gave up a barrage of hard hit balls.

Regardless, the state of the bullpen is the least of concerns. Our thoughts are with Toby Swanson, as we wish him a speedy recovery as he's surrounded by family.