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Wednesday Bantering: Game 5 Lineup and Who is Ryan Merritt?

ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Four Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Here is tonight’s lineup as the Blue Jays try to extend the series (and their season) with a win.

Wondering why Upton, not Bautista or Saunders, is DH’ing? John Gibbons addressed that:

Just who is Ryan Merritt, the young lefty that will attempt to close out the series for Cleveland tonight? August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs offers up a profile of Merritt. Here’s what he throws and they have to say about it:

Merritt’s strongest pitch is his changeup. “His changeup is his best offering, while his curveball needs work to become more of a weapon,” said Baseball America in their 2016 scouting report of Merritt. McDaniel called it an “above average” pitch. MLBPipeline, who ranked Merritt 29th out of 30 Indians prospects before the season, put a 55 on the pitch. At 87-90, the fastball, obviously, grades out as below-average based on raw stuff, but plays up to average due to what MLBPipeline grades as 60 command. “He stands out most for his command and feel for the zone,” BA said in 2015, adding the next year that “he showed in 2015 that he can retire more advanced hitters.”

Sportsnet writes about TBS’ Casey Stern, who had some harsh words for Jose Bautista who he says is not a winning ball player.

Bautista is forever looking to be the hero, looking to hit a home run on every single swing, rather than try to put his team ahead by getting on base or tapping in a run, Stern told Dean Blundell & Co. this morning on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Bautista continues to be a lightning rod for the media, though admittedly he seems to provide some talking points pretty often. Please go ahead and quiet the critics with a big game tonight.

Another Blue Jays win tonight and I think things really start to get uncomfortable for Cleveland. Let’s get on this kid early, get a lead and let Marco Estrada do his thing. In the spirit of what seems to be our rallying cry:

Game time 4:08 EST. Go Jays Go!