Danny Jansen injury update: Should Tyler Heineman be on a flight to join the club?

Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

For Danny Jansen and the Toronto Blue Jays, scenes from Sunday’s game against the Seattle Mariners were all too familiar. Fortunately, the team did salvage the finale of a stirring three-game series, but it came at the expense of Jansen getting drilled in the hand with a fastball that caused him to leave the game.

It’s a case of history repeating itself, as the 28-year-old went down similarly last season. The good news is that the current injury is being called a forearm contusion, which should sideline the veteran for much less time than the fractured pinky finger he suffered last year.

The timing isn’t ideal for Jansen; he’s been hitting the ball with power at a rate not seen before. Over his last 23 games before Sunday, the catcher has hit .282 (20-71) with four doubles, six homers, and a .929 OPS. “Jano” is hitting .226 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI overall.

While this injury appears less severe than the fractured finger, it may require a short stint on the IL for Jansen. That means Tyler Heineman, who filled in admirably for nine games earlier in the season, will likely be added to the roster.

Heineman isn’t known for being much of an offensive force, but he has hit .312 (5-16) in a small sample of playing time with the Jays in 2023. Alejandro Kirk, who has recorded seven hits over his last ten at-bats, will receive most of the playing time in Jansen’s absence. 

It may be chance for the 2022 All-Star to find the form he’s lacked for much of the season. After hitting .285 with a .786 OPS, those numbers have dipped considerably to .251 and .661, respectively.

The team faces an important and challenging week of games with a series with the Dodgers in L.A. before returning home to face Shohei Ohtani and the Angels starting on Friday night.