The Blue Jays wrap up their 3 city roadtrip with a series in Baltimore, which gets underway tonight. Gametime is 7:05 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Ryan Borucki will make his 15th start in the Majors this season, and 28th overall. He’s only now getting into uncharted territory innings-wise, as last year he threw 150.1 innings over 27 appearances, and right now is sitting at 153 innings over 27 starts.
His time in the Majors this year has gone fairly well. He is 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA, although FIP likes him a bit more at 3.76, thanks to his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Whether that’s a repeatable skill or just a byproduct of his amazing start will be seen as we go forward. Since he finally gave up his first home run, he is running a much more normal 12.5 HR/FB rate, which doesn’t mix well for a pitcher who strikes out few and doesn’t limit walks at an exceptional level.
Borucki’s last start in Baltimore on August 29 was one of his worst of the season. He went just 4.2 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, including a pair of home runs. He didn’t walk anyone in that outing, but also only struck out 2. I’m sure he’s happy to see the Orioles regardless, but he needs to do better in this one.
It’s Andrew Cashner’s turn in the rotation, but he’s suffering through a bout of
crappy arm syndrome knee troubles and won’t be starting today, as per Steve Melewski. What that means for who is actually starting is up in the air. MLB.com does not have an answer for that yet. Roster Resource thinks that it is still going to be Andrew Cashner. Fangraphs thinks it will be Sean Gilmartin, who went 3 shutout innings in relief against Oakland on the September 12 and hasn’t pitched since then. I like that choice, so let’s assume it’s Gilmartin.
Gilmartin is a former Met who has made 2 starts in the Majors over the last 4 years. He has a career 4.09 ERA and 4.29 FIP over 94.2 innings. He doesn’t do great at getting strikeouts, limiting walks, or preventing home runs. He seems to be just a run-of-the-mill lefty, the type you would expect to see making a spot start in September for a 103 loss team.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Randal Grichuk has been awesome to watch. We all know of his struggles to start the season, and how he turned it around after coming back from his DL stint. He’s also turned it up another notch since the All Star Break. Since then, he’s hitting .291/.338/.571 (145 wRC+) over 204 plate appearances, slashing 17 doubles and launching 12 home runs.
On the opposite end of that spectrum is fellow corner outfielder Teoscar Herandez. He lit the world on fire in the first half, hitting 15 home runs plus another 26 doubles/triples, combining with a .257 average over 328 PA to get him a 119 wRC+. That has all disappeared in the second half, as he’s hitting just .215/.283/.389 with 5 home runs and 10 doubles/triples over 166 PA. But his bat has still been solid overall at a 106 wRC+.
It’s not a look at the Orioles lineup without checking in Chris Davis’ season. Davis is now batting .174/.248/.305, good enough for a 48 wRC+ over 505 plate appearances. He has gotten his WAR on the season down to -2.9, closing in on the top 5 worst seasons all time, but not likely to reach Jim Levey’s 1933 season with his record -4.0.
Jonathan Villar, who came over from Milwaukee in the Jonathan Schoop trade, has been the Orioles best player in the post-Machado era. He is playing solid defense up the middle while hitting at a 116 wRC+ rate, while contributing his typical excellent baserunning. It still hasn’t been enough to help the struggling Orioles, whose position players minus Machado have collectively put up a -1.8 WAR on the season.
Daniel Palka of the White Sox launched a pair of home runs against the Orioles yesterday, earning our Monster Bat award. It wasn’t enough though, as Baltimore won 8-4.
The San Diego Padres had a fun win yesterday, as can be seen on their win probability chart, and also in the fact that they have the winner and the runner up in the WPA King contest. The winner is Francisco Mejia, who took a walk in the 8th inning to load the bases with none out down by 1. But nobody scored there, instead pushing things to the 9th. The Padres finally tied it up at 3, before Mejia sent everyone home happy with a grand slam to beat the Rangers 7-3. Mejia’s WPA on the day was .516, beating out teammate Freddy Galvis, who doubled in the tying run and put up a .414 WPA.
Likely AL Cy Young frontrunner Justin Verlander put another excellent start on his resume last night, earning the Pitcher of the Day award. The veteran right hander went 7 innings, allowing a solo home run and a pair of singles and a walk while striking out 11. The Astros held on for the win 5-4 over the Diamondbacks.
Find the Link
Nobody solved yesterday’s link, so it’s still around for double points. Today’s link is Gilmartin and Ryon Healy.