Jays closer Romano (elbow) likely headed to IL

Jays closer Romano (elbow) likely headed to IL

Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano is likely to start the season on the injured list with an elbow issue.

Manager John Schneider said Monday that it is “reasonable to say” Toronto will open the season Thursday at Tampa Bay without the two-time All-Star right-hander.

Romano, 30, made five appearances this spring and allowed one run on two hits in 4⅓ innings, fanning six batters.

He finished 5-7 with a 2.90 ERA and tied his career high with 36 saves in 59 appearances last season.

Romano is 19-15 with 97 saves and a 2.67 ERA in 216 games (no starts) since making his debut with Toronto in 2019.

Fellow reliever Erik Swanson is dealing with a forearm injury, leaving Yimi Garcia and Chad Green as candidates for closing duties until Romano returns.