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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:33 am

Just call it Black Monday.

There was little in the way of cheerful news for the beleaguered Blue Jays yesterday.

In no particular order, the examination of closer B.J. Ryan's elbow by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., revealed no surgery was required. However, Ryan has a strained elbow ligament and will be out from four to six weeks.

"It's kind of the same thing that (Gustavo) Chacin and (A.J. Burnett) had last year," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday. "It's not the worst news but it puts us behind the eight-ball."

Then there's third baseman Troy Glaus. Yesterday he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left heel contusion. It comes as no surprise.

Glaus, who has missed the past four games because of soreness in the heel, will be backdated to April 12. In his absence the Jays will continue to go with the platoon duo of right-handed hitting John McDonald and lefty Jason Smith.

To replace Glaus on the roster, infielder Ryan Roberts was recalled from Syracuse.

"He can't play so what are you going to do?" Ricciardi said of Glaus. "We just want to get him back healthy."

Left fielder Johnson, meanwhile, who is on the disabled list with a herniated disc, will undergo back surgery today in St. Petersburg, Fla. The operation will be performed by Dr. Thomas Tolli, a spine specialist.

In a best-case scenario, the Jays said that Johnson would be available to return to duty following the mid-July all-star break.

To replace Johnson, the Jays recalled top prospect Adam Lind on Friday. A left-handed hitter, Lind hit .367 in 18 games with the Jays last September. In his first two games with the Jays this season, he has gone 4-for-8.

"One good thing is that we have protection with Lind," Ricciardi said.

The end result is that the Jays will be weakened considerably until all three key players can return. By the time they all return, the season could be over.

The loss of Johnson and Glaus also has caused a major shakeup in the Jays lineup.

Johnson was the Jays leadoff hitter, a player manager John Gibbons has constantly referred to as "our sparkplug."

Last year he ranked first in the American League among leadoff hitters with a .390 on-base percentage. He also is better than average defensively.

Lind, who has more power, does not have Johnson's overall speed and is not as good defensively.

With Johnson out, right-fielder Alex Rios has been shifted to the leadoff spot followed by second baseman Aaron Hill, who is off to an excellent start, hitting .370 with a team leading 11 RBIs.

First baseman Lyle Overbay is likely to replace Glaus in the fifth spot in the order as protection for DH Frank Thomas.

The Jays also don't get any breaks in their schedule in the short time that Glaus will be out as they open a three-game series against Boston and Dice-K tonight followed by a seven-game road trip that will have them travel to Baltimore, Boston and New York.

But as Ricciardi said Sunday, "Nobody's going to feel sorry for us."

"We'll just have to try and hold the fort."

Courtesy of

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