The Blue Jays have been playing well for weeks and are in postseason position as of Sunday. One of the main reasons for that is Teoscar Hernandez is tearing the proverbial cover off the ball. Unfortunately for the Jays and Hernandez, he's likely ticketed for the injured list and will miss "serious" time, per Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun. The culprit is rib stiffness, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
Hernandez, 27, has been a major breakout player this season. He's hitting .308/.358/.637 (164 OPS+) with 14 homers, 27 RBI, 27 runs and five steals in 39 games. Only Mike Trout has more home runs. On Saturday, Hernandez was 3 for 5 with a home run.
The Blue Jays have been pretty hot as well. They started 7-11 and have gone 14-7 since then, putting themselves in playoff position.
If Hernandez misses serious time, that's a problem for the Jays. As noted, they are in playoff position but jockeying for a better spot would behoove them. They are tied with the Yankees for second place in the AL East entering Sunday and they play the Yankees 10 more times the rest of the way. They also have to deal with the red-hot Phillies for a four-game series.
The replacement for Hernandez will be Derek Fisher, who is hitting .200/.346/.400 in 26 plate appearances.
The saving grace here for the Jays is that Bo Bichette appears to be coming back soon. The phenom shortstop was hitting .361/.391/.672 in 64 plate appearances before he suffered a knee injury. The Blue Jays' hope here has to be that Bichette comes back and replaces Hernandez's production and that Hernandez isn't out long. They have a good thing going, after all, so optimism needs to carry the day.