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Game #101 Preview: Santana vs Gaviglio

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Twins (46-53) vs Blue Jays (46-54)

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays return to the field this afternoon to fight to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Twins. Today’s game starts at 4:07 ET, so don’t miss the early start.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio looks to build off the successful start to the second half that he had. Against Baltimore last Friday, Sammy G pitched into the 8th inning, allowing a 2-out 2-run home run to make his line look worse than it should have. In total it was 7.2 innings, 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 8. It was one of the best outings from Gaviglio this season. But Clippard blew the 7-4 lead, allowing Aledmys Diaz to be the hero in the 10th.

On the season, Gaviglio is 2-3 with a 4.59 ERA. The home run has been his biggest culprit, as he has allowed 12 in his 64.2 innings (1.67 per 9 innings - league average is 1.14). He has been about league average in strikeouts (8.49 per 9 innings vs 8.52 for the league) while being nearly 2/3rds of a point better in the walk department (2.64 per 9 innings vs 3.28 league wide). In other words, he’s been a pretty solid back of the rotation addition, and maybe he can be a useful piece for the short term.

Twins’ Starter

Ervin Santana makes his long awaited season debut for the Twins today. He missed the first 99 days of the Twins’ season due to a capsular release/debridement procedure to his MCP joint, and then made 7 rehab starts to get ramped up. His velocity was reportedly in the 90 mph range in the rehab assignments, so there isn’t much of a concern there.

Santana is coming off a pair of good seasons for the Twins. Last year he went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA, a year after going 7-11 with a 3.38 ERA. The peripheral stats aren’t nearly as good, as he doesn’t strike out many and allows a lot of fly balls and home runs. But the Twins are only looking for a few good starts out of him in the hopes that they can flip him, if not in July, then as a waiver trade in August.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

There have been rumblings that the Jays should sit Teoscar Hernandez in this one due to poor and lazy fielding, and it’s possible that it happens.

Also under the possible that it happens heading is any last minute lineup changes due to #HugWatch2018, which could see any number of Jays’ players traded before the end of the month, and the Jays are reportedly looking to get things done before the final hour.

I would imagine Aledmys Diaz is back in the lineup today after getting the last couple days off to rest a thumb injury, but if he’s still not good to go, it’ll be Solarte-Gurriel-Travis-Smoak around the infield.

I would imagine Luke Maile is catching this one with the earlier start time.

Twins’ Lineup

I would expect to see Logan Morrison back in there at DH with the Jays going back to a righty on the mound.

Jake Cave likely starts in RF again, maybe keeping Max Kepler in CF for the third time this series.

And Mitch Garver is likely to be back behind the plate as well.

There are probably going to be some deviations from what their lineup looked like on Monday, since teams do like to shake things up a bit while playing on the turf. Infielder Ehire Adrianza hasn’t gotten into a game yet this series, so there’s a good chance he’s in there somewhere today.

Yesterday’s Heroes

J.D. Martinez hit home runs 30 and 31 to retake the Major League lead yesterday, while also earning the Monster Bat award. But it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox lost to the Orioles 7-6.

There were some pretty good pitching performances last night, as 3 of the top 4 WPA performers were pitchers, and 16 pitchers threw a quality start. But none were as good as Masahiro Tanaka, who went the distance against the Rays in a 3 hit, 1 walk shutout. His efforts get him WPA King and Pitcher of the Day, as he helped the Yankees beat the Rays 4-0 by putting up a .492 WPA.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup has now tied Paul Quantrill for relief appearances as a Blue Jay at 366. One more will move him into a tie for 4th with Casey Janssen in relief appearances, which then would leave him behind just Jason Frasor, Duane Ward and Tom Henke. Loup isn’t getting out 4th.

Find the Link

Find the link between Santana and Adam Engel.