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Monday bantering

Yips, demotion, an immaculate inning and 42

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Pete: Stro- can you tell Lourdes he is being sent back down? Stro: Nope
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

As if our season couldn’t get any more worrying, yesterday our talented 2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr. developed the yips, missed first base by a country mile on some throws and has been sent back down to AAA Buffalo as penance/practice.

And now it appears the Blue Jays’ plan for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is unclear following his triple-A demotion.

The answer as to who will fill his spot will not be Richard Urena (sadly) or Vlad (double sad) but the half man/half badger that is Eric Sogard.

Apparently the Jays have gone with Sogard so Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can spend at least one more series in the Minors, after missing almost all of Spring Training with his left oblique strain. Toronto technically could have added Guerrero before the upcoming series vs. Minnesota, but it probably wouldn’t be good to introduce him to a series in advance of a weather forecast that includes snow and rain. I feel Vlad would be somewhat insulated though...

So its likely we will see Brandon Drury at third with Alen Hanson and Sogard splitting time at second (yikes). Once Guerrero is deemed ready (probably 2020 lol), Drury likely will become the starting second baseman.

Vlad watch:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. returned to action yesterday with the Buffalo Bisons after being given the previous day off. In the series finale in Scranton against the RailRiders, he manned third base and went 3-for-5 with one RBI in the 9-5 loss. Richard Urena made his first 2019 Bisons start and collected two hits, including a two-run RBI-triple.

And down at Dunedin, Nate Pearson impressed:

In case you missed them, among yesterday’s defeat were a couple of lovely bright spots:

‘Handsome’ Randal Grichuk channels his inner Kevin Pillar:

And Thomas Pannone threw an immaculate inning. Great job Thomas!

Jackie Robinson Day

Today all of Major League Baseball commemorates the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first MLB game. Melvin Carter, the first African-American mayor of St. Paul, Minn., will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Target Field as the Jays face the Twins.

Of course all players will wear Jackie Robinson’s number, something that Pee Wee Reese foretold in ‘42’: (caution some NSFW language):

Jays at Twins matchups

  • Today sees Matt Shoemaker (3-0, 0.92 ERA) vs. LHP Martin Perez (1-0, 7.56 ERA)

The Twins have had six off days this season (one weather-related), so this is the first time they need a fifth starter. Perez, formerly a starter for the Rangers, has primarily been used as a long reliever. Expect him to no hit us then.

  • Tomorrow sees Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (0-0, 7.71 ERA)

Gibson hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning in either of his two starts this season. He has a WHIP of 2.04 and an opponents’ batting average of .333. So that’s a positive for us hopefully.

  • Wednesday sees Trent Thornton (0-1, 4.61 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 6.35 ERA)

In his last two starts, Odorizzi was derailed by one bad inning in each game. Against the Phillies he lasted 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB. Then against the LOLMets he threw 4 1/3 no-hit innings before issuing three walks and being removed. All three Mets runners then scored.

  • Thursday sees Clay Buchholz (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 3.00 ERA)

Pineda, the former Yankee and pine tar officiado is back in the majors after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2017. He has recorded 15Ks in 15 innings this season.

Talking of Buchholz, he brings an old school arsenal to the Jays rotation.

Play of the day

It pains me to say it, but Manny Machado is good at baseballing:

Bonus play

Brock Holt’s cute son is one for the future.