TORONTO -- Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday afternoon after his strained left oblique muscle failed to display noticeable signs of improvement over the past 24 hours.
The move is retroactive to Monday and Rasmus will be out until at least Aug. 27. He suffered the injury while attempting to check his swing during a game against the A's on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays attempted to remain patient with Rasmus in an effort to avoid a prolonged absence, but the strain was still causing too much discomfort for Rasmus to go through his normal baseball activities.
"We talked to him this morning, still didn't feel right and it was just a matter of when can he be ready," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told a group of reporters Wednesday afternoon.
"The fact that Colby has already missed some time, that the injury hasn't completely gone away, we're better off to put him on the DL, give him the two weeks, let it completely go away, hopefully start a rehab assignment next week and he'll be back playing and not take a risk he'll be out a month."
The loss of Rasmus is another blow to a struggling Toronto offense as Rasmus was hitting .331 with four homers, 14 doubles and 22 RBIs while posting an .899 OPS since the beginning of July.
The injury, combined with Wednesday's trade of Emilio Bonifacio to the Royals, set off a flurry of roster moves by the Blue Jays. Prospect Kevin Pillar had his contract purchased, while fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.
Pillar got the start in left field on Wednesday night while Rajai Davis moved into center to replace Rasmus in the lineup. The moves left the Blue Jays without a prototypical backup outfielder, but that is expected to change in the near future with another roster move on its way.
Prospect Anthony Gose is expected to be promoted from Triple-A within the next few days, but until then, Kawasaki and veteran Mark DeRosa will serve as emergency backups. The decision to delay a move for an additional outfielder was made because the Blue Jays wanted to wait at least another day before deciding what changes should be made to their eight-man bullpen.
"We wanted to make sure we got through tonight and there are no issues at all," Anthopoulos said. "We could have done it today -- we actually thought about doing it today -- but just to protect ourselves a little bit tonight and then we can reevaluate after the game. We'll see, we could do something tomorrow, it could be two days from now. I think it will be some time in the next few days."
Kawasaki, who got the start at second base Wednesday, became a household name in Toronto earlier this season when he was filling in for the injured Jose Reyes at shortstop. The energetic infielder hit just .213, but he posted a .319 on-base percentage in 70 games and was one of the most popular players on the team because of his colorful postgame interviews and interactions with the fans.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @EvanPeaslee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less