Blue Jays undecided on Gurriel Jr., Espinal, encouraged on Gausman

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel makes a catch for the out on Cleveland Guardians' Jose Ramirez during the third inning of a baseball game. (Ron Schwane/AP)

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins says the team hasn't made a decision on the availability for infielder Santiago Espinal or outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for the wild-card round against the Seattle Mariners.

Espinal (oblique) and Gurriel (hamstring) are trying to work their way back for the best-of-three series, which runs Friday through Sunday at Rogers Centre.

Espinal, who has been out for more than two weeks, was named an all-star for the first time in his career in 2022, finishing the season slashing .267/.322/.370 adding 125 hits, 51 RBI and a .987 fielding percentage.

Gurriel had been averaging more than hit per game but Friday marks one month since he last saw action.

Meanwhile, Atkins said the team is encouraged by the recovery of right-hander Kevin Gausman, whose last start was cut short due to a cut on his right middle finger.

Atkins said the team hasn’t locked Gausman in for a post-season start, but he is a leading candidate for Game 2 or 3. Gausman had a 3.35 ERA in 31 games this season. He made two playoff appearances with the Giants a year ago.

Game 1 takes place Friday afternoon in Toronto with Alek Manoah taking the mound for the Blue Jays and Luis Castillo starting for the Mariners.

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