Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen underwent surgery yesterday to address his fractured right middle finger, the team announced (relayed by Scott Mitchell of TSN). He’s out for the rest of the regular season, though the club is leaving open the possibility for a return in the postseason if they qualify.
Jansen broke his finger last week when it was struck by a foul tip. The Jays promptly put him on the injured list, recalling Tyler Heineman from Triple-A to take the active roster spot. Heineman will remain in the #2 capacity while Alejandro Kirk takes the majority of the reps. The right-handed hitting Kirk had started the season slowly but has found his stride in the second half, posting a .296/.379/.463 line since the All-Star Break.
That positions the Jays better than virtually any other team to withstand the loss of a catcher, but it’s still disappointing for player and team alike. Jansen also missed time this year with a groin strain and has gone on the IL in each of the last three seasons. When healthy, the 28-year-old is one of the better catchers in the game. He owns a .228/.312/.474 slash with 17 homers in only 301 plate appearances this year.
In better news for Toronto, they reinstated Bo Bichette from the IL before this evening’s matchup with the Royals. Bichette missed a minimal amount of time with a quad strain. The star shortstop has been the Jays’ best player this year, so getting him back quickly is obviously a huge development for a team that entered play Friday half a game up on the Rangers for the last Wild Card spot in the American League.