And so, further down the slippery slope the Toronto Blue Jays go, not knowing just how far the team’s injury issues can possible extend in 2013, but knowing that only more bad news lie in wait:
Okay, so I suppose it isn’t all bad, as far as the short term is concerned anyway. Despite fielding an infield which included Mark DeRosa at first, Munenori Kawasaki at second and Maicer Izturis at third the bluebirds managed to pull off some Canada Day magic behind R.A. Dickey an 8-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers.
Whether they’ll be able to continue to make it last without Edwin Encarnacion (and Adam Lind), however … might be a whole different story.
It’s going to sound like a broken record, but the usual lingo were thrown around the media over the DH/first/third baseman’s hamstring injury that made him a last-minute scratch before the game, complete with manager John Gibbons telling Gregor Chisholm or MLB.com that “hopefully it’s not a long-term thing” and that the Blue Jays “don’t think it will be.”
Regardless of whether that optimism is actually based on solid ground or not, the fact of the matter is that every game that Encarnacion misses will be one that further exacerbates the issue of the giant hole that’s now in the team’s offensive lineup.
Forget for a moment that the Blue Jays will be missing a .887 OPS bat with 23 home runs on the season already; the more pressing issue is that there just aren’t a whole lot of warm bodies who can take the field off the bench thanks to the eight-men bullpen that they’ve been carrying.
With the way that the relief corps have been contributing though, who gets to be the odd man out?
Both Neil Wagner and Juan Perez have been revelations to this point, and with the still uncertain quantities at the back end of the rotation, an extra arm really doesn’t hurt there.
Besides, even if there wasn’t the issue of a short bench, it’s not as though putting DeRosa at the cleanup (or the lineup in general) on a regular basis is what you’d call a recipe for success, so it’s a bit of a lose-lose situation that’s developing here.
So despite the three-run homer that the veteran launched on Monday en route to the team’s win, I think it’s fair to said that it’s the personnel loss that the Blue Jays will be more concerned with.