Blue Jays put Springer on injured list with inflamed elbow

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MINNEAPOLIS —  The Toronto Blue Jays placed All-Star outfielder George Springer on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right elbow prior to their game at Minnesota on Saturday night.

Springer has been bothered by the elbow for much of the summer. He’s scheduled to receive an anti-inflammatory injection this weekend to aid the healing. Springer missed four of the previous five games with the injury, going 1 for 4 against the Twins on Thursday night.

Springer will be eligible to return Aug. 15. The four-time All-Star, who has been Toronto’s primary center fielder, is batting .251 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs in 89 games. Entering play on Saturday, he was tied for 10th in the AL with 59 runs.

The 32-year-old is in the second season of a $150 million, six-year deal. He played just 78 games last season due to quad and ankle injuries.

Infielder Otto Lopez was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take Springer’s roster spot, and Whit Merrifield played center field against the Twins. The Blue Jays also optioned right-handed reliever Trent Thornton to Triple-A to make room for right-hander Mitch White, who was recalled to start the game in Minnesota in his Blue Jays debut.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.