Halladay out with groin strain

Updated: June 18, 2009, 2:41 PM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Toronto Blue Jays have suffered a slew of pitching injuries this season, but Wednesday's news was bad even by their standards.

The Jays announced that starter Roy Halladay and closer Scott Downs will both be placed on the disabled list Thursday. The team will put Halladay on the DL retroactive to June 13, so he'll be eligible to return June 28.

Halladay left his last start against Florida after three innings with a right groin strain. He tested the injury in a bullpen session before Wednesday's game against Philadelphia, but continued to feel tightness in the groin. The Jays decided to take the cautious approach and shut him down for the next 10 days.

"There are times when you push things and cost yourself some more time,'' Halladay told reporters at Citizens Bank Park. "I think this is something I can deal with quickly, and I don't want this to turn into a long process. We just feel like this is the smart thing to do.

"It's still tight. It's a lot better than it was when I did it. Every day it's progressed. I'm just not to the point where I feel like I'm ready yet.''

The loss of Halladay is a significant blow to a Toronto team that's gone 8-17 since a 27-14 start. Halladay leads the American League with 10 wins and 103 innings pitched, and he ranks fifth in strikeouts (88) and ERA (2.53).

The Jays said that Downs will be placed on the DL Thursday with a sprained left big toe. Downs suffered the injury while breaking out of the batter's box on a groundball out in Tuesday's game at Philadelphia.

Downs has pitched extremely well since taking over the closer's job for B.J. Ryan earlier this season. He's 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA and eight saves. He also has 28 strikeouts and only four walks in 27 1/3 innings.

Manager Cito Gaston said Jason Frasor will probably get first crack at the closer's job in Downs' absence. The Blue Jays plan to call up Jeremy Accardo from the minor leagues to fill the open spot in their bullpen.

The Blue Jays have already lost pitchers Jesse Litsch, Ricky Romero and Ryan to the disabled list this season, while Casey Janssen has made two trips to the DL. In addition, pitchers Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan are both recovering from arm surgery.

Jerry Crasnick is a baseball writer for ESPN.com.

Jerry Crasnick | email

ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer