Friday, August 12, 2022

Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman escapes serious injury after being struck by comebacker

In a bit of a scary scene in Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon, Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman was hit in the lower leg by a line drive and exited the game. 

It looks like the right ankle of Gausman that was struck. Fortunately, he was able to walk off on his own power and later the Blue Jays announced that Gausman’s X-rays came back negative. They are calling the injury a right ankle contusion and Gausman is considered day-to-day. 

One might recall that Braves starter Charlie Morton was struck with a line drive in Game 1 of the World Series last year and missed the rest of the series due to a fractured right fibula. In watching the Gausman play live, my mind immediate went to that play and the worry was Gausman would suffer a similar fate. 

Instead, it seems like Gausman and the Jays have avoided a tough situation. 

Gausman, 31, was 6-6 with a 2.93 ERA (134 ERA+), 1.69 FIP, 1.24 WHIP and 97 strikeouts against 15 walks in 86 innings this season. He was a big-ticket free agent signing and has lived up to his end of the bargain to this point. He threw 42 pitches before taking the liner in Saturday in the doubleheader opener, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Blue Jays move him in the rotation — assuming his ankle is healed enough for him to pitch in a few days. 

Toronto’s rotation depth has been tested this season with Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injuries as well as rough sledding for Yusei Kikuchi and José Berríos. Alek Manoah‘s Cy Young-caliber season has been a huge help and Ross Stripling‘s successful slide into the rotation has been big as well. 

If Gausman is to miss any time, Thomas Hatch, who is starting the second game of the doubleheader Saturday, would be a natural fill in. 

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