It's certainly not the news that the Toronto Blue Jays are wanting to hear at this current point in the regular season, however, it has become a rather unfortunate reality, one that they will have to cope with as they start to get their roster back and at the right time.
With this in mind, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports that Canadian backstop Russell Martin will take a seat in the second of a four-game weekend series at Rogers Centre on Friday night as the New York Yankees come to town for a visit.
As Zwelling notes, this time it is a nagging neck injury forcing the 34-year-old catcher to take the night off, however, says it is in no way related to the nerve issue in his right shoulder in which forced him out of game action just weeks ago as he was diagnosed with an impinged nerve that caused inflammation which held him out of twelve total games over the course of May.
Taking a quick look at how Martin has faired for the 2017 season thus far, he owns a slash line of .243/.387/.405 to go alongside five home runs and 11 RBI's in a total of games played. Over this span, he has made 137 appearances to the plate.
Moving elsewhere to more positive news, 24-year-old right-hander Aaron Sanchez has been out of game action since the 20th of May as he has been dealing with a blister on his right index finger, forcing the club to place him on the 10-day disabled list. Now just days after having been shut down from throwing, Zwelling notes that he plans to throw a ball as soon as Sunday.
It seems as if for the starting rotation that the stars are aligning at the right time as Toronto recieved an update on Francisco Liriano before Tuesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds. That being said, the veteran southpaw will take to the hill for the first time since being activated in Friday night's contest against his opposition which will be Michael Pineda. As for Martin's absence, it means that Luke Maile will get the start behind the dish.
As for those who the team has cut ties as the week went on, the Blue Jays released veteran right-hander Mat Latos on Monday, followed by the designation of fellow righty Mike Bolsinger on Thursday. With those transactions having been made, the team called upon right-hander Leonel Campos to briefly fill a roster spot while doing so in the bullpen, however, he was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Friday morning to make space for Liriano who has since been re-instated from the 10-day disabled list.
Quickly noting down the details of tonight's matchup, first pitched is scheduled for 7:07pm ET as the roof will be opened in downtown Toronto. It is also the Jays Care Foundation broadcast auction run by Sportsnet which will get underway with phone lines opening at 6:30pm ET.