UPDATE, 2:58 PM: X-rays on both his left elbow and left ankle were negative, reports David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard will miss a few days because of the sprain, but it appears that the Phillies have avoided a major scare.
UPDATE, 2:09 PM: Howard’s injury is being called a left ankle sprain, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. He will undergo X-rays to ensure that there is no serious structural damage.
2:02 PM: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had to be helped off the field Sunday after apparently injuring his left knee or ankle while running the bases in the first inning. The scene was capture here in this photo posted by Major League Baseball’s official Twitter page.
Howard, batting .292 with an .884 OPS, 23 homers and 81 RBI, was replaced at first base by Cody Ransom.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.