Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland was forced to make an early departure from Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday. In the seventh inning, Moreland sprinted toward home plate to score on Ian Kinsler‘s RBI double, but appeared to grab at his hamstring and was quickly lifted from the game. After the game, manager Alex Cora revealed that the first baseman had been lifted with hamstring tightness, though the injury doesn’t appear severe enough to force Moreland to sit out the rest of the series.
Moreland, 33, has dealt with his share of leg issues over the last year as he was sidelined for nearly six weeks with a left knee contusion. Despite missing a chunk of playing time to a lengthy recovery process, he finished the regular season with a respectable .245/.325/.433 batting line, 15 home runs, and a .758 OPS through 459.
On Saturday, the infielder went 1-for-3 with a base hit prior to his departure in the seventh, after which he was replaced by Steve Pearce to start the eighth inning. As with any other injured player on a postseason roster, Moreland could be swapped out for a replacement player for the remainder of the series (assuming his hamstring injury gets worse over the next few days), but would not be eligible to play in the ALCS should the Red Sox advance that far.
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.