TORONTO – Matt Chapman is back in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup.

Chapman was activated from Toronto’s 10-day injured list and was sixth in the Blue Jays’ lineup when they hosted the Texas Rangers on Thursday. Chapman went on the injured list on August 28 with a sprained right middle finger after getting caught between a dumbbell and a weight rack.

“He’s a big part of our team, obviously, and we’re excited to have him back,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “I think his overall energy is a good thing for the whole group.

“We look forward to having him there every day.”

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The third baseman’s batting average was .248 with 15 home runs before his injury. His 36 doubles lead the team, even after the long timeout.

Chapman is known for his defense, having won three Gold Glove Awards (2018, 2019, 2021) and two Platinum Glove Awards (2018, 2019). His ability on the field has given him a 4.0 wins above replacement, a statistic that measures a player’s value by figuring out how many wins he is worth more than a replacement-level player at his same position.

His 4.0 WAR is the best on the Blue Jays this season, slightly ahead of star shortstop Bo Bichette’s 3.9.

Schneider said normally Toronto would have sent Chapman to the minor leagues on a rehab assignment, but with the Blue Jays fighting for a postseason berth.

“It’s one of those rare things where you can go on a rehab assignment and go 0-for-12 and come back and be hot,” Schneider said in his office before Thursday’s game. “We’ll take Matt Chapman at his talent level, take it and keep doing it.”

Heading into Thursday’s game, Toronto (80-66) was one game behind the Seattle Mariners for the American League’s third and final wild card. The Rangers have the second wild card, a half-game ahead of Seattle.

Outfielder Nathan Lukes was traded to the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York, to make room for Chapman on Toronto’s roster.

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Lukes hit .192 with four runs and two RBIs in 26 at-bats for the Blue Jays this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2023.

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