The Blue Jays are notoriously secretive about their injuries, especially for minor leaguers. With many young players, the only indication of an injury is that they’ve been put on the 7-day (minor league) DL but even that isn’t necessarily the only reason players go on the DL.
For example, no one was saying anything after Roberto Osuna went on the DL for the second time after trying to come back from an injury. It wasn’t until about a week after he actually had Tommy John surgery that Shi Davidi reported that the surgery was performed. Us bloggers were stuck speculating on what was going to happen even though it had already happened!
Another case on the other side was Santiago Nessy‘s injury. He was kneed in the head by an opposing player while sliding into second base and sustained a concussion. I just happened to be listening to the radio broadcast at the time and, when Nessy went on the DL, I had a reference to the reason.
This time of year there aren’t any DLs or games being played in the minors so we are left to speculate on the severity of injuries sustained towards the end of the year. Fortunately there are some clues to be found when we’re looking around the internet for players who are supposed to participate in a couple of post-season leagues. Unfortunately the news isn’t great for a couple of Blue Jays prospects.
The first player for whom the news isn’t great is catcher A.J. Jimenez. Jimenez had Tommy John on his right (throwing) elbow last year and had some complications in his recovery. We know that he was shut down in late August with a nerve issue in his elbow which necessitated the call-up of Mike Nickeas instead of Jimenez when rosters expanded in September. Jimenez was expected to be at full strength for the Arizona Fall League (which starts in October) but it appears that he won’t be ready in time.
Rumour has it that Dunedin Blue Jays catcher Derrick Chung is headed to the Arizona Fall League, I assume to replace Jimenez. Chung does have a history as an infielder (he was a shortstop in college) but has been excellent behind the plate this season (and at the plate) and I’m sure the Jays want to him to catch.
Obviously, while this is good news for Chung, it’s a setback for Jimenez. My opinion is that the Blue Jays were going to look at him making the club out of spring training next year and the extra reps in the AFL would be most helpful in getting him back into the swing of things after an injury shortened 2013 season. I think he’ll still have a shot but he needs to be able to produce (at least) as much as J.P. Arencibia with better defense in order to make the Blue Jays out of camp. At this point it’s going to be a challenge for A.J.
The second bit of bad news is that the injury to Shane Dawson, which has been reported as a “forearm” injury, is going to keep him out of the Fall Instructional League. Dawson, who was dominant in Bluefield and Vancouver, was shut down after 4 starts with the Canadians. Dawson, the 20-year-old Albertan, was left off the list of pitchers going to Instructs (starting on September 23) that was tweeted to me by Baseball Prospectus writer Chris King.
— Chris King (@StatsKing) September 13, 2013
King initially tweeted “notable” pitchers from the list but later added the whole list when I asked specifically about Dawson. Robson, who is on the same career track as Dawson and who was promoted from Bluefield to Vancouver at the same time as Dawson, was absent from the initial “notable” pitchers tweet but is on the complete list.
This leads me to believe that Dawson’s injury is more severe than we have been told and forearm/elbow injuries should always concern us as fans.
These developments are disappointing, especially when you think that both players (Jimenez and Dawson) have had very good years. We hope that their injury issues abate over the off-season and that they can come back strong and healthy in 2014.