The Toronto Blue Jays have lost their starting catcher in the middle of a wild-card chase. Danny Jansen had surgery on his right middle finger and will miss the rest of the regular season, manager John Schneider told reporters Friday (per Sportsnet). His availability for the postseason, should Toronto qualify, is to be determined.
Jansen suffered the injury when he was hit by a foul tip last Friday. He initially remained in the game to complete the inning before being replaced. Here's the injury:
Jansen had taken over as Toronto's starting catcher in the weeks prior to the injury. His last game was his eighth start behind the plate in the previous 11 games and his 20th start in the team's previous 33 games. Jansen hit .228/.312/.474 with 17 home runs in 301 plate appearances this year, including .230/.368/.494 in the second half.
With Jansen sidelined, the Blue Jays have leaned heavily on Alejandro Kirk, who is hitting .256/.339/.359 a year after going to the All-Star Game with a .285/.372/.415 slash line. Kirk is a good backup plan, though obviously he is not having the season he had in 2023. Tyler Heineman was called up to fill Jansen's roster spot.
At 77-63, Toronto enters play Friday a half-game up on the Texas Rangers for the third American League wild-card spot.