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Troy Tulowitzki will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in his heels

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Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will miss at least eight weeks of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery to remove “bilateral heel bone spurs” in both of his feet, the team announced Friday. Tulowitzki was officially placed on the 60-day disabled list on Thursday and is scheduled to undergo treatment on Monday. He’s expected to spend six of the eight weeks rehabbing off the field.

Bone spurs have been a chronic irritant for the 33-year-old infielder over the past decade, albeit never to the point where they required surgical removal. This time, they developed in his right heel prior to spring training and lingered for several weeks, effectively keeping him off the field and out of any Grapefruit League games. Club GM Ross Atkins told reporters Friday that he believed Tulowitzki was making progress with the issue during camp, but supported the shortstop’s decision to undergo surgery after the spurs began to surface in his left heel as well. “We had five ankle/foot specialists talk to him,” Atkins said. “Three different physical meetings with specialists. At this point, without conservative treatment working, this is the next step.”

This will be the second straight season in which Tulowitzki has been sidelined with a serious injury and lengthy recovery process. He spent 65 days on the disabled list in 2017 after tripping over C.J. Cron‘s foot and spraining his right ankle. The veteran shortstop finished the year with just 66 games under his belt and slashed .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs in 260 PA for the club. Until he’s healthy enough to resume his post, the Blue Jays will continue to utilize a combination of Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe in his place.

The Buffalo Blue Jays? The team has reportedly asked about playing there

The Buffalo Blue Jays
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The Buffalo Blue Jays? Is that a thing? Maybe.

The Toronto Blue Jays are, officially, set to begin their season at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 29. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, however, reports that they are looking at alternatives:

Multiple sources confirm to The Buffalo News that the Bisons’ parent club has finally reached out to Rich Baseball Operations in the last couple of days to examine the possibility of Toronto’s home schedule being played in Buffalo this summer.

This report of a potential for the Buffalo Blue Jays to make their debut comes a couple of days after the strict restrictions on movement for Jays players — they are reportedly required to stick to the Rogers Centre and the connecting hotel or face harsh punishment — met with at least some backlash. The restrictions are inevitable, however, given that Canada is requiring a 14-day quarantine for people traveling into the country. Since the Jays will be playing all road games in the United States, there is little choice for them but to be restricted to their hotel and the ballpark after arriving back in the country after playing games in the states.

As Harrington notes, Buffalo is not an ideal option given the less-than-major-league-level lighting and clubhouse space present in the Triple-A park, so it would not be ideal. Like everyone else these days, however, the Buffalo Blue Jays — er, I’m sorry, the Toronto Blue Jays — have little choice but to scramble.