Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen suffered a fracture near his left pinky finger, general manager Ross Atkins told reporters (including Keegan Matheson of MLB.com). He’s headed to the 10-day injured list, although Atkins indicated the recovery timeline is expected to be on the shorter side for a fracture. Fellow backstop Zack Collins is being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding move.
It’s the second IL stint of the season for Jansen, who also missed more than a month after straining his oblique. He’s only appeared in 19 games as a result, but the righty-hitting backstop has made a massive power impact when healthy. Through 62 trips to the plate, Jansen has blasted seven home runs. That’s been more than enough to offset a pedestrian .232 batting average and .290 on-base percentage, and he’s now hit 12 homers in 125 plate appearances dating back to last September.
Losing Jansen while he’s hitting this well will be an obvious disappointment, but the Jays are as well-equipped as any club to handle a hit to their catching corps. Alejandro Kirk has been pressed primarily into a designated hitter role with Jansen around, but he’s capable of sliding back behind the plate in the latter’s absence. Kirk isn’t regarded as a great defender, but he’s among the best offensive options at the position leaguewide. The 23-year-old is hitting an excellent .306/.389/.465 through 47 games this season.
Collins, acquired from the White Sox in a one-for-one swap with Reese McGuire, offers a power-hitting depth option behind Kirk. The Jays also have one of the game’s top prospects, Gabriel Moreno, knocking on the doorstep of the majors. The 22-year-old is hitting .323/.377/.406 through 146 plate appearances in Buffalo. The Jays have opted to roll with the more experienced tandem of Kirk and Collins for the moment, but Moreno figures to force his way onto the scene before too long if he continues to perform at that level.