Blue Jays place closer Romano on injured list


TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays’ pitching staff was dealt another blow Saturday when closer Jordan Romano was placed on the 15-day injured list due to right elbow inflammation.

Manager John Schneider said the decision was made after Romano’s MRI exam Friday night.

“There’s no structural injury,” he said before Saturday’s matinee against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. “It’s just inflammation so he’ll be down from throwing for a couple days and then we’ll go from there.”

The news came a day after starter Alek Manoah went on the 15-day IL due to a right elbow sprain. The right-hander was scheduled for an in-person evaluation with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister on Thursday.

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Blue Jays right-handers Bowden Francis (forearm) and Yariel Rodriguez (back) were also on the injured list.

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It’s Romano’s second IL stint this year. He missed the first 17 games of the season with a right elbow issue.

“It’s a similar thing,” Schneider said. “I think with it being the second time it’s popped up, it’s trying to just not push through it.”

Romano, a 31-year-old native of Markham, Ont., has been inconsistent this season. He has a 1-2 record, eight saves and a 6.59 earned-run average over 15 appearances.

A 10th-round pick in 2014, he made his big-league debut with Toronto in 2019. In 231 career regular-season games, he has a 20-17 record and 2.90 ERA.

Yimi Garcia and Chad Green were expected to be the primary high-leverage relief options for the Blue Jays while Romano is out.

“It’s definitely an opportunity for guys to step up like they did in the beginning of the year,” Schneider said of his bullpen.

Romano’s move to the IL was retroactive to Thursday.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays recalled left-hander Brendon Little from Triple-A Buffalo.

Toronto (27-29) started the day in a virtual tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for fourth place in the American League East division.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024.

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