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Blue Jays pitcher’s 4-year-old son in critical condition after being struck by vehicle

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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Erik Swanson will be stepping away from the team as his son is in critical condition.

The four-year-old boy was hit by a car in Clearwater, near the team’s spring training facility in Dunedin.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider said the boy was struck on Sunday and airlifted to a hospital, and Swanson will be away from the team for “a while.”

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Erik Swanson #50 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning in Game Two of the Wild Card Series at Target Field on October 04, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (David Berding/Getty Images)

“Thanks to the incredible work from Clearwater first responders, Toby is on the road to recovery and is surrounded by his family,” the Blue Jays said in a statement, via Fox 13 Tampa Bay. “Erik will be away from the team for a while, family comes first. Our love, support and prayers are with Erik, Madison, Toby and the entire Swanson family. Out of respect for Erik and his family, we’re not going to comment further on this.”

“We have unbelievable resources up and down this organization,” Schneider said, via MLB.com. “We have an unbelievable group of guys who are in that clubhouse who are very, very close. They spend a lot of time together off the field along with other families. You lean on those guys. You come together as an organization as quickly as you can and help however you can. The guys have been great. Erik and his wife, Madison, are very thankful for the support, and we’re going to continue to give it as long as we need to.”

Erik Swanson pitching

Erik Swanson #50 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning in Game One of the Wild Card Series at Target Field on October 03, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

JOSÉ DELEÓN, MLB VETERAN PITCHER WHO LED NL IN STRIKEOUTS IN 1989, DEAD AT 63

“As a dad, I have two boys who are 7 and 5, and it hits home. We’re going to continue to be there for them. Baseball is secondary when you’re talking about family and life. We’re going to support him. The guys have been absolutely phenomenal with him so far, and you can’t forget about players’ wives and significant others who have reached out as well. It’s been a rough couple of days, but it’s really, really nice to see the support for Erik.”

Police said the driver of the vehicle, a valet driver at the Opal Sands, remained on the scene and has been cooperative in the investigation.

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Swanson is in his second spring with Toronto after being traded by the Seattle Mariners in the 2022 offseason. Toronto sent Teoscar Hernandez as part of the deal.

Swanson struggled in his first two seasons, pitching to a 6.58 in 36 appearances in 2019 and 2020 — but he’s found success in the previous three years.

Since 2021, he owns an ERA of 2.60, including a career-best 1.68 ERA in 2022.

Erik swanson delivering pitch

Erik Swanson #50 of Toronto Blue Jays pitches to the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on August 13, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Last year, Swanson had a 2.97 ERA while striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings. Out of his 69 appearances, he kept opponents scoreless in 55 of them.

From Aug. 7 through the end of the season, he allowed just two earned runs in 16.1 innings (1.10 ERA).

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