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Marco Estrada has been pitching through a herniated disk in his back

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Thursday morning that Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada has been pitching through a herniated disk in his back. Estrada made the American League All-Star roster, but was on the disabled list with lower back soreness and was replaced by Corey Kluber.

Since returning on July 22, Estrada has a 5.47 ERA and a 47/19 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings. After averaging 6 2/3 innings per start prior to his DL stint, Estrada has averaged 5 1/3 since.

It’s bad timing for the 79-66 Blue Jays as they’re two games back of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. They also lead the second AL Wild Card slot by 1.5 games over the Tigers and Mariners. Aaron Sanchez is dealing with a blister issue and the club is trying to limit his innings anyway. If Estrada needs to miss time, the club will have to get even more creative managing the rotation.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”