Blue Jays right-hander David Phelps will miss the remainder of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery to repair what the club had termed a “significant” strain of his right lat, the team announced (Twitter link via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet).
This is a terrible blow for the Blue Jays and Phelps, who was brilliant for the club before landing on the injured list toward the beginning of the month. Phelps hasn’t pitched since May 2, but in the 10 1/3 innings he did throw this season, the 34-year-old surrendered just two runs (one earned) on eight hits and four walks, and he struck out 15 batters along the way. Toronto couldn’t have asked for a better performance than that when it signed the well-traveled Phelps to a $1.75MM guarantee in free agency, but he’ll have to head back to the open market during the upcoming offseason after a truncated campaign.
For their part, the Blue Jays will go the remainder of their season without one of their most dependable relievers. Phelps joins Kirby Yates, another of the team’s offseason signings, as someone who won’t return to the mound this season. The Jays are also without Julian Merryweather, Ryan Borucki and Tommy Milone, who have each been on the IL for at least a couple weeks apiece.