The Toronto Blue Jays will be without one of their best relievers for at least the next two weeks, as right-hander Erik Swanson was placed on the 15-day injured list Sunday due to "thoracic spine inflammation," the team announced.
Swanson suffered the injury in the seventh inning of Saturday's win over the Cleveland Guardians. He appeared to be in discomfort after delivering his eighth pitch of the game and was promptly removed from the contest.
The 29-year-old has been a crucial piece of the Blue Jays' bullpen after joining the club in the offseason trade that sent Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners. Swanson owns a 3.10 ERA and leads Toronto's pitching staff with 60 appearances in 2023, contributing four saves in the process.
Right-hander Jay Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take Swanson's spot on the 26-man roster for Sunday's series finale against the Guardians.
Swanson's absence leaves manager John Schneider without one of his most trusted high-leverage arms, but the Blue Jays' bullpen has the depth to withstand the injury. Toronto's relief corps has a cumulative 3.47 ERA entering play on Sunday, which ranks fourth in MLB.
The Blue Jays figure to get a shot in the arm in the coming days, as veteran Chad Green appears to be on the brink of returning to the majors after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. Green has looked sharp with a 1.69 ERA over 10 minor-league rehab appearances. His Blue Jays debut could coincide with MLB rosters expanding on Sept. 1.
Toronto finds itself in a heated battle for the third American League wild-card spot, currently sitting 1.5 games back of the Houston Astros for the final playoff berth. The Blue Jays have a golden opportunity to make up ground over the next two weeks, as they will not play a team with a winning record until Sept. 11.