The Toronto Blue Jays cannot catch a break. As if losing nine of their last 12 games and sliding to last place in the arduous AL East was not bad enough, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left Saturday's road game versus the Minnesota Twins with a back injury, per ESPN.
He was removed in the second inning and replaced by Cavan Biggio. Fans are ready to turn the page on this troublesome month of May. Toronto (27-25) entered the day 10.5 games behind the Tampa Rays (38-15) and is desperate for a series win after being trounced by three different divisional rivals the past week-plus. An injury to one of the Jays' best producers this year in Kiermaier will only add to the early season agita.
The three-time Gold Glover is lauded for his elite defense, but it's his bat that has blown fans away. He is batting .319 with four home runs and an eye-opening .511 slugging percentage in 42 games in 2023. The Blue Jays signed the longtime Rays CF to solidify a stacked defensive triumvirate, also consisting of George Springer and Daulton Varsho.
They had little expectations for what Kiermaier, a career .251 hitter, could do for an already stout lineup, but he has been a big reason the team ranks fourth in batting average in the MLB. Unfortunately, the 33-year-old is no stranger to lengthy IL stints, most recently missing almost 100 games last season with a hip injury.
Best case scenario is that the veteran is just dealing with some lower back soreness and will be listed day-to-day following the Twins game. Optimism is hard to come by right now, though.
The Blue Jays hope to salvage this miserable May.