Blue Jays don't consider Roberto Osuna's injury as serious

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna's neck/upper back injury isn't considered serious, general manager Ross Atkins said Monday.

"We don't see it as something serious," Atkins told the Globe and Mail. "At the same time, any time you have to put someone on the DL it's less than ideal. It's really muscular in nature. The words he's using and the doctors are using is 'tightness.'

"We really just felt as though we wanted to give him the best chance to get off to his best start possible. We felt like a little bit more time and rest to get that tightness and stiffness out of there would benefit him."

The Blue Jays listed Osuna's injury as a cervical spasm on Sunday when they placed the right-hander on the 10-day disabled list. Atkins told the Globe and Mail that Osuna's pain is mostly between his shoulders and he had the problem when he pitched for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

Osuna last pitched Friday, throwing a scoreless inning in an exhibition tie against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Montreal. Manager John Gibbons was asked Monday if he was aware of Osuna's issues when he inserted him into Friday's game.

"He's been battling that, so we've been well aware of it. Just talking to him, he said, 'Yeah, I'm a little bit stiff, but I'm fine.' But he came in the next day and he just brought it to our attention," Gibbons said.

"We'd been discussing it for a few days anyway. It's just the smart thing to do because, if it keeps lingering, who knows what it can turn into. So we said, 'Let's knock it out.' He was on board. He didn't really want to go on the DL, but he understood. I know every game is valuable, but if we can get rid of this in the next 10 days, we have a couple of off days, so we'll be fine. If we can't get through it, we're in a lot of trouble anyways."

Osuna's fastball velocity has notably decreased this spring, with an average speed of 92 to 93 mph. Last season, his fastball consistently was timed at 96 mph.

Osuna, 22, saved 36 games last season, posting a 2.68 ERA in 72 appearances.

Veteran reliever Jason Grilli is expected to fill the closer's role in Osuna's absence. Gibbons said Grilli is "the ideal choice" to close for Toronto while Osuna is sidelined, unless "we need Grilli to get us to that ninth inning." In that case, right-hander Joe Biagini would likely close.

ESPN's Jayson Stark contributed to this report.