The Blue Jays announced that catcher Danny Jansen has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 25, with a left groin strain. Fellow backstop Tyler Heineman has been recalled in a corresponding move.
Jansen, 28, has been splitting the catching duties with Alejandro Kirk fairly evenly so far this season, with Jansen getting 28 starts to Kirk’s 23. Jansen is capable of being a two-way contributor when healthy, as he hit .260/.339/.516 last year for a wRC+ of 140 while also putting up five Defensive Runs Saved. FanGraphs strangely ranked him as a negative pitch framer last season, though he’s been in the positive territory in every other season of his career.
He hasn’t quite matched that level of offense this year, currently hitting .207/.273/.413 for the season. Though that’s being dragged down by an ice-cold start to the year, as he’s hitting .250/.314/.510 from April 15 onwards for a wRC+ of 124. Unfortunately, he’ll now have to hit the shelf for a while, something that has become a common theme for him. With the shortened 2020 schedule and IL stints in each campaign since, he hasn’t topped 72 games played in an individual season since 2019. He departed Wednesday’s game with groin tightness and the club gave him a day to see how it progressed, but it’s evidently serious enough that they’ll give him at least another week to recuperate.
Presumably, that means the lion’s share of playing time will now fall to Kirk, who’s also not hitting up to last year’s standards. He hit .285/.372/.415 in 2022 for a wRC+ of 129 but is slashing just .248/.360/.333 this year for a wRC+ of 101. He and the Jays will hope that some extra reps will allow him to make up some of the difference between those two lines.
Backing him up will be Heineman, whom the Jays acquired from the Pirates at the end of April. He only played three games with the Pirates this year, having spent most of the season with the Triple-A clubs of the two organizations. He’s hit .260/.393/.400 between those two clubs for a wRC+ of 108. He has 246 major league plate appearances in his career, going back to 2019, with a batting line of .210/.276/.269 in those. He also accrued six Defensive Runs Saved and positive marks for his framing work.