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Game #99 Preview: Mejía vs Santos

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Twins (44-53) vs Blue Jays (46-52)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After a sweep of the lowly Orioles, the Blue Jays welcome a Major League club, the Twins, in for a 3 game set. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

With Marco Estrada making a start for New Hampshire instead of Toronto, the Blue Jays turn to their bullpen to get a starter. And instead of going with the guy with 13 starts for the team this year and hasn’t pitched in 8 days, the Jays are going with Luis Santos. Santos has thrown 8 innings for the Jays this year, allowing 7 runs on 11 hits, walking 4 while striking out 9.

Santos features a fastball that he has been pumping in there over 94 mph this year, which he complements with a slider and changeup. He’ll also occasionally mix in a curveball, although there might be some pitch classification issues at Fangraphs - it appears the curveball might be mistaken for a slider, or vice-versa. Considering he has just 24.2 Major League innings, there is bound to be some issues with their data.

Twins’ Starter

Left hander Adalberto Mejía gets the ball for game 1. He is making his second start at the Major League level this year, after getting 21 last season. In his first start, he went just 4 innings against the Cubs, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in the hot Chicago sun.

The rest of his season has been spent on the Twins’ AAA affiliate in Rochester. Mejía has made 11 starts and 3 relief appearances, pitching to a 3.32 ERA over 62.1 innings. He has allowed very few home runs despite being a fly ball pitcher, and has done well with strikeouts (8.81 per 9 innings) and walks (2.89 per 9 innings).

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Lourdes Gurriel got the start at 2B yesterday, so I’m hoping he moves over to SS to give Diaz the night off.

With the lefty Mejía on the mound, Dwight Smith Jr. will probably start in RF in place of Granderson.

Russell Martin is likely behind the plate in this one.

Twins’ Lineup

As a group, they have just a 94 wRC+, and have 4 regulars and a 10th man that are right there. Max Kepler, Brian Dozier, Mitch Garver, Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza are all in the mid-90s with their wRC+.

The offense is led by Eddie Rosario (136 wRC+, 19 HR) and Eduardo Escobar (121 wRC+, 14 HR).

Last year’s breakout player, Byron Buxton, has battled injuries this season, spending two different stints on the Major League DL - a bad migraine and a foul ball off the toe. He was optioned to Rochester on July 2, and is now on their DL with a wrist issue. It’s too bad, because he was a lot of fun to watch last year.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Ryon Healy was the Monster Bat yesterday, going 3-4 with a pair of home runs and a single, driving in 6 as the Mariners beat the White Sox 8-2.

Daniel Robertson hit a pinch-hit, 2-out walkoff grand slam to give the Rays the 6-4 win over the Marlins last night. That hit accounted for .826 WPA, his WPA King total for the night.

Zack Greinke went 8 strong innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk, striking out 13 to earn Pitcher of the Day honours. His great start helped the Diamondbacks to the 5-1 win over the visiting Rockies.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup never pitched in the Orioles series, and has now had more than a week off. Once he does pitch, that will put him 1 relief appearance back of Paul Quantrill for 5th on the franchise relief appearance list. I would imagine that he’ll get into this series to at least face Joe Mauer, who Loup has held to just a single in 8 PA while striking him out 3 times.

Find the Link

Find the link between Mejía and the Blue Jays’ first pick in the 2014 draft.