Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced today that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will not be ready for Opening Day due to bone spurs in his right heel.
This is not new for Tulowitzki, who appeared in just 66 games last season. He’s only played in as many as 130 games once since 2011 and has played in 140 games or more only three times in his 12-year big league career.
Tulowitzki, 33, hit .249/.300/.378 with seven homers last year. He is owed $54 million over the next three seasons and will get a $4 million buyout on top of that if the Jays do not pick up his $15 million 2021 option.
In his place at short to start the season will either be Aledmys Diaz, who Toronto acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in December, or Yangervis Solarte, acquired from the Padres in January.
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.