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Blue Jays Place UTIL Man on 10-Day IL

Photo by CBS Sports

TORONTO, CA: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, an infielder for the Blue Jays, has a left knee strain and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Infielder Leo Jimenez, who was recalled in a matching move, will make his major league debut.

The 29-year-old Kiner-Falefa was a late scratch from Monday’s game. According to Hazel Mae of Sportsnet on X, manager John Schneider stated that the infielder "felt something" that "popped up out of nowhere" during his pre-game stretches. The Jays do not know how long they expect him to miss, but the injury is serious enough to need an extended stay on the injured list.

Kiner-Falefa, who signed a two-year contract during the winter, is enjoying his greatest season to date. Although he has always been a glove-first utility player, his 81 wRC+ hit rate entering the year was only .261/.314/.346.

Despite the Jays' terrible 2024 season, Kiner-Falefa's contract has been a positive development; he has hit .292/.338/.420 with a wRC+ of 117. Based on FanGraphs calculations, he presently leads the club with 2.0 wins above replacement.

For the Jays, who are now further adrift in the American League postseason picture, this is not a good development. The Jays have dropped to 38-46, tied with the Tigers and Rangers, and eight games out of the final postseason slot, despite the fact that many contenders have been tightly clustered in the Wild Card race for the majority of the season.

Less than a month remains until the trade deadline, and the team will need to go on a real hot streak to avoid a summer selloff. This will be more difficult to accomplish without one of their more productive players of the year. There would also be a case to sell high on IKF if the summer selloff materializes, but it may be less likely at this point.

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