Alford will miss 3-to-6 weeks with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Injuries continue to be a big part of the story with Alford, as they have been since he got into pro ball. This eliminates any slight chance he may have had of breaking camp in the big leagues. He should open the year on the disabled list at Triple-A and then spend first month or two in the minor leagues before possibly being summoned to the majors if he is producing.
Alford is day-to-day after tweaking a hamstring Monday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
It doesn't sound like Alford will be out long, though he's slated to open the year at Triple-A Buffalo either way. The athletic outfielder reached the majors for a brief, four-game cup of coffee last season, though he only played three games at the Triple-A level. With strong performances for Buffalo this season he could be up with Toronto at some point this summer.
The Blue Jays have a crowded outfield heading into the season, but Alford should get a chance at some point in 2018. Manager John Gibbons recently raved about Alford's progress. "Probably the biggest turnaround I've ever seen as long as I've been in the game," Gibbons said. "From two or three years ago in spring training when I've seen him until now, he was a raw kid with tremendous athletic ability. Now, he's really turned into a baseball player. He's got a great swing. He's still figuring some things out, but the sky's the limit." A former college football star, Alford has flashed impressive power and speed in the minors as well as an advanced feel for the strike zone given his level of experience. He is already on the 40-man roster.
Alford, who made his MLB debut in May, capped off his 2017 MiLB season with a .299/.390/.406 slash line in 77 games.
The Jays' top outfield prospect played in 68 games with Double-A New Hampshire, and paced the Eastern League with a .310 batting average. Alford made his long-awaited MLB debut on May 19, but suffered a broken wrist just days later that ended his run in the big leagues. Despite his misfortune in 2017, the 23-year-old will undoubtedly be a top contender for an Opening Day roster spot next spring.
Alford was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo on Friday, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports.
The 23-year-old finished strong with Double-A New Hampshire after returning from a wrist injury, earning a promotion to Buffalo for the Bisons' final series of the season. That may not be the last stop for Alford; he is already on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster, having made his big-league debut in May, so he could very well be among the team's next wave of September callups. If he does get the call, Alford will likely play primarily off the bench.
|10/1/2017 vs New York|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||R-Gcl Blue Jays||5||18||1||3||0||0||1||1||2||4||4||0||.250||.333||.167|
|2013||R-Gcl Blue Jays||6||22||4||5||2||1||0||2||6||6||2||0||.414||.409||.227|
|2014||R-Bluefield Blue Jays||9||29||5||6||0||0||1||2||5||13||1||0||.343||.310||.207|
|2015||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||57||225||42||68||11||6||3||19||28||49||15||6||.380||.444||.302|
|2017||AA-New Hampshire Fisher||68||245||41||76||14||0||5||24||35||45||18||3||.406||.429||.310|
|2017||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||6||21||1||3||0||0||0||2||--||8||1||0||.182||.143||.143|