The Toronto Blue Jays moved pitcher J.A. Happ to the 60-day disabled list Friday as the left-hander recovers from injuries after being hit in the head by a line drive earlier in this month.
Happ suffered a skull fracture and a sprained right knee when he fell to the ground in pain after being struck behind the left ear by a liner off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings on May 7. Happ left the field on the stretcher and spent the night in hospital.
”He’s lucky, extremely lucky,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ”That ball ended up down in the bullpen.”
Gibbons said the decision to move Happ from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL was not due to a setback in the rehabilitation process, but because Happ’s knee is still sore. He’s now eligible to return in early July.
”The doctors and everybody don’t feel he’ll be ready before that, otherwise we wouldn’t have done it,” Gibbons said.
Happ, who is currently rehabbing at Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., has been waiting to get fitted for a knee brace that will permit him to resume throwing. In an interview with ESPN Thursday, Happ said he’s been limited to throwing a weighted ball against an indoor wall and is still having difficulty both walking and running. He said, however, that doctors told him his head injury is healing well.
Happ also suffered minor hearing loss after the incident, but said his hearing is returning to normal.
Also Friday, left-handed reliever Darren Oliver was put on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain and left-hander Sean Nolin was added to the roster. The rookie is scheduled to make major league debut Friday night against Baltimore.
Oliver, 42, is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 games this season.