The Blue Jays will be without their second basemen for the next 10 days.
Ahead of a four-game set in Tampa Bay, the Jays placed Santiago Espinal on the 10-day Injured List with a left oblique strain, the team announced. Espinal received an MRI after exiting Wednesday's game in Philadelphia, which revealed the injury. Infielder Otto Lopez has been recalled from Triple A and will be active for Thursday's game.
An All-Star this year, Espinal has appeared in 135 games for the Blue Jays, playing mainly second base. Though his offensive numbers have dropped in the second half of the season, he's been one of the team's most reliable defenders. Per Outs Above Average, he's been the second-best defensive 2B in baseball, behind only Detroit's Jonathan Schoop.
Espinal's stint on the IL will keep him off the Blue Jays roster for the team's next three series, only eligible to return for Toronto's final regular season series of 2022 against the Orioles. Lopez, called up in place of Espinal, has played infield and outfield for the Bisons this season and has been one of the Triple A affiliate's best hitters in the second half of the season. The 23-year-old has hit over .300 since July, with 19 RBI in 53 games during that time.
Alongside Lopez, Cavan Biggio and Whit Merrifield can be expected to fill in at second base with Espinal out.