Neil Wagner emerged from a visit with Dr. James Andrews hopeful that the forearm strain that forced him to the disabled list will improve with rest.
Wagner visited with the pitching injury specialist Wednesday to get a second opinion on his flexor tendon and ulnar collateral ligament. The 30-year-old Buffalo Bisons reliever came away with a recommendation to rest for three weeks before starting a throwing program, an industry source told Sportsnet.
Wagner appeared in 10 games for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, posting an 8.10 ERA. He appeared in 36 games for Toronto in 2013 and recorded a 3.79 ERA in 38 innings while emerging as a dependable middle reliever for manager John Gibbons.
The right-hander first landed on Buffalo’s disabled list in early May, but he recovered to pitch for the Blue Jays and Bisons before returning to the DL. In nine games for the Bisons, he has a 4.00 ERA with four saves, 11 strikeouts and three walks.
While forearm strains can lead to more serious injuries including Tommy John surgery, there’s hope that rest will be enough for Wagner.
RELIEF UPDATES: The Bisons got some good news when right-hander John Stilson returned from the disabled list with a scoreless relief outing Tuesday. Stilson has a 3.46 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 innings for the Bisons this year, and could be an option for the Blue Jays later in the year.
The Blue Jays parted with another reliever when they traded right-hander Shawn Hill to the triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Hill, 33, had a 4.94 ERA in 47.1 innings for the Bisons and double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats this year. The Mississauga, Ont., native has appeared in parts of seven big-league seasons, most recently with the 2012 Blue Jays.