Saunders day to day with hamstring tightness

Saunders day to day with hamstring tightness

TORONTO -- Blue Jays left fielder Michael Saunders was removed from Tuesday afternoon's 11-3 win against the Phillies in the third inning because of hamstring tightness in his right leg.

The move was made for precautionary reasons, and the injury is not considered serious. Saunders is listed as day to day, and he is questionable for Wednesday night's game vs. Philadelphia.

Saunders has been dealing with hamstring problems for most of the season, but it has not impacted his performance at the plate. The veteran left fielder has been one of the club's standout performers, with a .310 average, 11 home runs and 23 RBIs.

"Mild tightness, so it's just precautionary," Saunders said. "The situation of the game, being up 9-0 or whatever it was, we decided to play it smart. As of now, it's just day to day, and hopefully it will be better tomorrow."

Saunders missed three games earlier this season with the same injury, and he's frequently spotted with his leg heavily wrapped in ice. Even so, he has been able to appear in 58 games, and he said the process between games is maintenance more than anything else.

There was not one specific play during Tuesday's game that aggravated the injury, but it's possible a foul ball the night before played a role. Saunders fouled a ball off his right ankle Monday, and one theory is that he was compensating for that injury and it created a little bit of extra tightness in his leg.

"Honestly, I think that might be a reason why," Saunders said of the ankle. "My ankle is pretty sore right now, and I'm thinking that honestly might be a reason. Trying to protect my ankle, something else has to take over the workload. The ankle is feeling OK -- more precautionary than anything."

Either way, Saunders and the club decided it was smart to play it safe. With the game well out of hand, Saunders was given some additional time to rest instead of possibly making it worse.

Saunders went into the series finale tied for first among American League outfielders with 17 doubles. He was second in slugging (.569) and average (.313), third in extra-base hits (30) and on-base percentage (.389), and tied for sixth in home runs (11).

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.