Blue Jays closer Romano, reliever Swanson to start season on IL, could be back within a month

Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano and reliever Erik Swanson will start the season on the injured list and are expected to be joined by starting pitcher Alek Manoah.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday he is hopeful Romano and Swanson could be back within a month. Romano of Markham, Ont., has a right elbow injury, while Swanson is out with right forearm inflammation.

“They both look great,” Atkins said. “They’re recovering well. They feel strong. Barring the setbacks. I think this could be a minimal stint.”

Chad Green and Yimi Garcia will fill-in for Romano.

Manoah, slowed by a right shoulder injury, threw 34 pitches over two innings on Wednesday in a minor league camp game.

“He’s just a little bit behind,” Atkins said. “I think you could just look at the workload today. He threw two innings and he was exceptional. This stuff was electric. He’s moving really well. His mindset is incredible.”

Manoah is scheduled to increase his innings total to four and five over his next two minor league outings.

Slugger Joey Votto, who signed a minor league deal, could resume baseball activities in a few days as he comes back from a right ankle injury, He will start playing games in extended spring training, then likely will join Triple-A Buffalo.

Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodriguez, who signed a $32 million US, five year contract, was optioned to Buffalo.

“The big thing for us is giving him every chance to be a starter, moving forward, short term and long term while considering him as a relief option for us currently in the short term,” Atkins said.

Manager John Schnieder said pitchers Nate Pearson and Wes Parsons both made the opening day roster,

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