The Blue Jays have placed Santiago Espinal on the IL with a right hip flexor strain, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to Jarrod Dyson, who was claimed off waivers from the Royals on Friday.
Espinal has been a solid fill-in for the Blue Jays this season, slashing .290/.354/.378 for a wRC+ of 105, while playing third base. He’s seen his playing time increase due to the multiple IL stints of Cavan Biggio this year. With Espinal now out and Biggio recently suffering a setback during his rehab, the Jays will likely turn to Kevin Smith and Breyvic Valera at the hot corner. Smith, who got the start at third today, is off to a slow start to his MLB career, though in a tiny sample of just seven games. Valera’s only had 46 plate appearances this year, producing a meager wRC+ of 45, thanks to a line of .227/.261/.273.
As for Dyson, he will be hard-pressed to get regular playing time, given that the Jays have an outfield of Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk and Corey Dickerson. George Springer also seems poised to return soon, with the star outfielder telling Jon Morosi of MLB Network that he hopes to be back as soon as tomorrow. Whether his own self-assessment lines up with the team’s vision remains to be seen. This is Springer’s third IL stint of the season, only appearing in 49 games so far this year. He’s made his limited time count, however, slashing .269/.362/.610, a wRC+ of 157. If he can return in that form, he would be a huge boost for a Blue Jays team that has slipped to 6 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in his absence.