Toronto Blue Jays Put Sergio Santos On Hold In Spring Due To 'Soreness'

By Thom Tsang
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good thing that the Toronto Blue Jays have given themselves plenty of options in the bullpen, because they’re going to have to do without Sergio Santos, the team’s closer setup man.

Well…for a few days, anyway:

The official word, according to the Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, is that the injury is of “no real concern” – which, in Blue Jays speak, means it’s time to start being concerned.

After all, that wasn’t so different from the diagnosis to Santos’ shoulder woes before the 2012 season, when “not serious” eventually turned into ineffectiveness in early outings, which then led to him missing the last 149 games of the 2012 season and getting shoulder surgery.

Considering the wave of injuries that wiped out the Blue Jays pitching staff in the summer of woe last season, you could probably understand fans for being concerned about this one.

Santos, of course, was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a high-profile move to fix Toronto’s ninth inning situation. While there’s little doubt that he has the stuff to be very good at it (13.07 K/9, 1.7 fWAR in 2012 over 63.1 innings), Blue Jays fans haven’t had a chance to see it in action for any more than than 5.0 innings that Santos threw last season.

The 29-year old righty has looked pretty good in spring, allowing just a single hit between his first two outings, with only the past Sunday’s one-run inning being a scratch on his record thus far. Where he labored a bit through two hits and a walk then, and it was after that outing that he experienced the discomfort.

Understandably, the Blue Jays are optimistic right now, and it’s hopeful that the former Toronto minor league shortstop will be able to return to action on the weekend.

…but, should he have to miss more time, it will open up an opportunity for folks like Steve Delabar and Esmil Rogers, as well as out-of-option guys  like Jeremy Jefferess, to get a shot an expanded role.

Though, considering that Rogers gave up a whopping three homers in Tuesday’s spring game, and that Delabar and Jeffress (who both had scoreless innings on Tuesday) had been hit pretty hard in their earlier outings, I’m sure the Blue  Jay would probably rather just have a healthy Santos ready to go.

It’s of no concern for now, but as we’ve seen in the past, that sort of thing can change very quickly.

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