The Blue Jays activated first baseman/DH Brandon Belt from the 10-day injured list today, returning the veteran slugger to action after a 15-day absence due to lower back spasms. Toronto also called up right-hander Jay Jackson from Triple-A, while optioning right-hander Nate Pearson and first baseman Spencer Horwitz to the Florida Complex League (since the Triple-A season is over).
Apart from this two-week stint and an earlier 10-day absence due to a hamstring injury, it has been a pretty healthy season for Belt, which is a nice outcome given his long injury history. Recurring knee problems have plagued Belt in recent years, and surgery on his right knee prematurely ended Belt’s 2022 season and even had him wondering if retirement was in the cards. However, Belt decided to continue playing on his surgically-repaired knee, a decision that has paid off well for both the 35-year-old and the Jays.
Signed to a one-year, $9.3MM free agent deal last winter, Belt has hit .251/.369/.470 with 16 home runs over 382 plate appearances. The Blue Jays have used Belt mostly as a DH and rarely sent him to the plate against left-handed pitchers, but this platoon usage has perhaps contributed to Belt’s ability to stay healthy for the majority of the 2023 campaign. Belt has been one of the steadier contributors to a Toronto lineup that has struggled to consistently generate offense, so getting Belt back for the regular season’s final six games is a big help as the Jays try to lock up a wild card slot.