Blue Jays hit with a cascade of injuries, including to Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho


SAN FRANCISCO — If you have followed this Toronto Blue Jays season, even at a passing glance, you will know that if something can go wrong, it usually has.

For example, on Wednesday, after the Blue Jays had already received discouraging news regarding an injury to their top prospect, the team saw starters Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho exit their game against the San Francisco Giants with injuries. Eventually, even a coach had to exit the game because of an injury.

On the bright side, the Blue Jays did win, defeating the Giants 10-6 at Oracle Park and evening the series at a game apiece ahead of Thursday afternoon’s rubber match. But the bigger concern was who had to leave the game early.

Bichette exited in the fourth inning with right calf soreness and was undergoing an MRI after the game, according to Blue Jays manager John Schneider.

The injury occurred in the second inning when Bichette took an awkward step while catching a back-pick attempt. The Blue Jays shortstop wanted to stay in the game, but Schneider said, “I didn’t want to take a chance,” especially since it’s the same calf that Bichette previously injured this season, sidelining him for nine games. In addition, Bichette also had injuries to his right knee and right quad last season.

It’s been a slow offensive season for Bichette, who has looked far from his productive self for most of the year, hitting .222/.275/.321 in 78 games. Another injury setback is the last thing the shortstop needs as he tries to work out of his extended slump.

The Blue Jays already have Isiah Kiner-Falefa on the 10-day IL, cutting into their infield depth, but if Bichette misses time, Leo Jimenez, who took his place in the fourth, can play shortstop. The opportunity would be a welcome test for the 23-year-old still in the early days of his MLB career. Addison Barger, optioned down to Triple A last week, could be recalled if Bichette has to go on the IL.

“We may or may not get someone moving,” Schneider said when asked if someone could be recalled. “But we’ll see how it kind of goes.”

An inning before Bichette’s exit, Varsho left the game with a left knee contusion after he took an awkward fall in the second inning while trying to leg out a ground ball. The Blue Jays left fielder dove head-first for first base, trying — and ultimately failing — to beat out Giants starter Logan Webb, who lunged to the bag. After testing out his knee under the supervision of a Blue Jays trainer, Varsho initially stayed in the game and played left field in the bottom of the second. But the following inning, he was replaced by Davis Schneider. After the game, Schneider said Varsho’s status was “day to day,” but there seemed to be a lower level of concern regarding the left-fielder.

“I think Varsh will be all right,” the Blue Jays manager said, adding that Varsho wasn’t scheduled to receive any imaging and there was no structural damage. “I think he’ll kind of be a little bit banged up.”

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Davis Schneider scores a run during the sixth inning after replacing Bo Bichette. (Sergio Estrada / USA Today)

The Blue Jays also received bad injury news at the minor-league level. Ricky Tiedemann, their top prospect freshly activated off the IL after recovering from a nerve injury, left his start with the Triple-A Buffalo after one inning with left forearm tightness. Tiedemann allowed a run on a hit with three walks and a strikeout in the brief outing.

It’s yet another blow for Tiedemann, whose early career has been derailed by injuries. There was a belief that Tiedemann, the Blue Jays’ best young pitcher and ranked as one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in baseball, could have made his MLB debut this season had he been able to stay healthy. Instead, the 21-year-old has been limited to just 17 1/3 innings after he only accumulated 44 innings last year due to a biceps injury.

Adam Macko, another of the Blue Jays’ pitching prospects having a good season in Double A, is also nursing left forearm soreness, according to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson.

If the chance of seeing some of the Blue Jays young prospects pitch in the second half was keeping you tuned into this season, well, that possibility just took a bit of a hit.

Meanwhile, reliever Yimi García has experienced a setback in his recovery from right elbow ulnar neuritis, though it’s due to a stiff neck, not his elbow. The right-hander was supposed to pitch in a rehab outing with Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. It was pushed to Wednesday, but he didn’t pitch then either. Schneider said the hope is that he can pitch on Thursday.

And, finally, the Blue Jays filled out yet one more box on the injury bingo card on Wednesday night. Third base coach Carlos Febles “felt a little pop in his knee” about midway through the game, the Blue Jays manager said, joking this was the first time he had to provide the media with an injury update on a coach. Febles’ knee continued to get worse and given his active coaching style at third, he decided to sit for the remainder of the game. First base coach Mark Budzinski took over at third, while field coordinator Gil Kim filled in at first base.

“We’re going to call it bilateral hamstring discomfort for Carlos, I think,” Schneider said with a grin. “No MRI or imaging needed for him, and Bud and Gil were up for the challenge.”

While Schneider could joke about the Febles situation, there is a more serious level of concern regarding Bichette’s injury. The team is hoping for the best, but as this season has shown us, well, a lot has gone wrong for the Blue Jays.

(Top photo of Bichette from Sunday: Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)



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