After only nine pitches, Toronto Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow left last night’s game against the Washington Nationals with an oblique strain. The initial word from the Blue Jays was that the pitcher would be day-to-day, but during the post game interviews following the team’s 6-3 loss at the hands of the Nats, it was revealed that the injury was more serious, or in the words of manager John Farrell, “probably substantial.”

Morrow will undergo tests today, but is likely headed for the Disabled List with a strained left oblique muscle. New York Yankees reliever David Robertson was the most recent pitcher to suffer a similar injury. He was placed on the DL in the middle of May, and is only now expected to rejoin the team for this coming weekend. While each body is different, and we don’t know the extent of the injury yet, at least a month away from the team seems like a probably outcome from a strained oblique.

This is stating the obvious, but losing Morrow is incredibly bad news for the Blue Jays, as he had been the team’s best pitcher throughout the first two and a half months of the season. Morrow, whose talent has always been recognized, seemed to put it all together this season and finally fulfil the potential that he was believed to hold. He was striking out less batters, but maintaining a similar strikeout to walk ratio, all while inducing more ground balls and fewer line drives and fly balls. It was a recipe that worked for the 27 year old right hander, as his result numbers like ERA finally began to match the more involved metrics.

The team will look to replace him in the immediate with Aaron Laffey who, along with reliever Evan Crawford, is on his way up to Toronto from Las Vegas. However, I wonder if Brett Cecil, pitching in Double A, might get the call if test results demand that Morrow stay out for a month or longer. Cecil was praised earlier this month, and after missing his last start is expected to pitch tonight for New Hampshire. Another option is Jesse Chavez, pitching in Las Vegas, who impressed somewhat in his brief audition with the big club earlier this month.

As for the team’s playoff chances, after last night’s loss, CoolStandings.com gives the Blue Jays a 35.9% of at least making the Wild Card playoff game, while Baseball Prospectus lists their chances at only 5.5%.

And The Rest

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Andre Ethier appear close to announcing a five year contract extension worth $85 million. [CBS Sports]

Breaking up with the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates can be hard to do. [Baseball Nation]

You can find all of the draft signing announcements in one handy place. [Baseball America]

Toronto Blue Jays or more accurately Las Vegas 51s first baseman Adam Lind has been criticized by management for his lack of conditioning following his demotion. [Toronto Sun]

Oh, Gio. [Twitter]

Boston Red Sox manager sounds as though he’s in favour of robot umpires. [ESPN Boston]

The best team names in the Minor Leagues. [Baseball Nation]

It’s time to get a better understanding of Pitch FX. [Baseball Prospectus]

Norhichika Aoki’s success at the plate is broken down. [Disciples Of Uecker]

The dumbest thing you’ll read all year. [Crashburn Alley]

The Getting Blanked show returns to talk about no hitters, the Pirates (again!), two-inning closers and dish out some #prophate punishment. [Getting Blanked]