4:37pm: Benoit is in the Jays’ clubhouse, tweets Nicholson-Smith, and says that he’s been told he could be ready to return in two to three weeks. He’s currently wearing a walking boot and using crutches.
3:35pm: Blue Jays right-hander Joaquin Benoit, who left the park on crutches last night, has been diagnosed with a torn calf muscle, manager John Gibbons told reporters, including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (Twitter links). Benoit suffered the injury while running in from the bullpen on the heels of a benches-clearing brawl. Worsening matters for the Blue Jays is the fact that Gibbons also said that second baseman Devon Travis got his shoulder “tangled up in the brawl” and subsequently aggravated it on a swing. He’s now day to day with said injury.
For the Blue Jays, the loss is significant, especially when considering the nature in which Benoit’s injury occurred. Since coming over from the Mariners in exchange for Drew Storen, Benoit has pitched to a brilliant 0.38 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 3.4 BB.9 in 23 2/3 innings of work. While injuries are a natural part of the game, incurring one in the midst of what was a senseless and entirely avoidable brawl last night is undoubtedly frustrating for both the team and fans alike.
Looking to the future, the injury is clearly disheartening for Benoit, who will presumably be unable to participate in the postseason and will also enter the free agent market on the heels of an injury. While the calf tear probably won’t impact his stock in the same manner that an arm injury at the age of 39 would, it nonetheless deprives him of the opportunity to further distance himself from what was a dreadful first three months of the season while pitching with the Mariners. Benoit struggled to a 5.18 ERA with Seattle due largely to poor control and a susceptibility to home runs, but he righted both of those trends to a large extent while pitching with the Jays and had done quite a bit of work to rebuild some of his free agent stock.