After an ineffective start by replacement starter Jesse Chavez last Sunday, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell had to turn to his former long reliever Carlos Villanueva to start tonight's game against Ervin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is Villanueva's first start of 2012, but he had 13 last season. He had a positive record (5-3) but his ERA was 3.5 runs worse as a starter than a reliever (stats from Baseball-Reference.com):
But let's look at the bright side: Villa could not possibly have a worse start than the last ones by Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil. Right?
This year, Villanueva has been quite useful out of the bullpen, especially when the Jays needed an innings eater. He has pitched 4 innings or more twice, last time on June 15 when he pitched 4 scoreless innings after Drew Hutchison exited the game after 12 pitches. In that game, he threw 66 pitches, tying his other 4-inning performance against the Rangers for the most of his season. Since he is not as stretched out as last year, I don't think he will be expected to go for more than 75 pitches in this start. Hopefully that carries the Jays into the 6th inning at least--unless the game gets rained out tomorrow, don't expect a rest day for the bullpen.
|2012 - Carlos Villanueva||2-0||22||0||0||0||0||0||33.1||26||13||12||5||21||36||3.24||1.41|
The Blue Jays' offense, led by a ridiculously hot Jose Bautista, will try to beat up on Angels starter Ervin Santana to try to move above .500. Santana pitched 9 and 8 innings in his past two starts, recording a 1-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks on the 16th and getting 10 strikeouts on 2 earned runs against the Dodgers last Saturday. But, in the 4 games before those gems, he gave up 4,5,6,7, and 7 runs. Let's hope we get the bad version of Santana tomorrow night.
|2012 - Ervin Santana||4-8||15||15||1||1||0||0||97.0||87||55||53||18||36||71||4.92||1.27|
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