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Jays relief pitchers Romano, Swanson could start season on IL

Jordan Romano Toronto Blue Jays Jordan Romano - The Canadian Press

Two important pieces of the Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen could start the season on the sidelines.

According to manager John Schneider, it is “reasonable to say” that setup man Erik Swanson and closer Jordan Romano could be headed to the injured list to begin the 2024 MLB season.

Romano is battling right elbow inflammation while Swanson has right forearm tightness.

Romano, 30, pitched in 59 games last season, recording 36 saves and a 2.90 earned runs average. The Markham, Ont., native has appeared in five games so far this spring.

Swanson, 30, made 69 appearances and saved four games with a 2.97 ERA. He's pitched in two spring games so far. 

In other injury news, Schneider said veteran first baseman Joey Votto could return to baseball activities sometime over the next few days. Votto rolled his ankle after hitting a home run in his first Grapefruit League on March 17.

The Blue Jays open the 2024 season against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.