Blue Jays’ Starter
Marcus Stroman looks to build off the success of his first start to the season. On opening day against the Tigers, Stroman twirled 7 shutout innings, looking completely untouchable as he was able to effectively mix his stuff up and keep the Tigers hitters off balance. If there was one thing to raise a flag about in that start, it was the 4 walks that he allowed, as he occasionally lost control of the strikezone. But he was able to bounce back each time and make sure the runners were stranded or erased, thanks to timely ground balls and an excellent throw from his catcher.
Stroman pitched just 1 game against the Orioles last year, and it was a very strong start. He went 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7. This was on July 21, right in the middle of his very strong stretch to the season.
The Orioles counter with what I guess we would call their Ace. Andrew Cashner drew the opening day assignment against the Yankees last Thursday, and had a very rough go of it. Over just 4 innings, he allowed 6 runs on 6 hits, including a big 3 run home run to Luke Voit, surrendering 4 walks along the way and being saddled with the only loss on the Orioles ledger in the early going. He obviously won’t be the only pitcher white washed by the Yankees this year, so I’m sure we can give him a bit of a pass on that start.
We saw the veteran righty pitch against the Jays 4 different times last season, and he did quite well in those starts, despite putting up a pretty terrible 5.29/5.32/5.19 ERA/FIP/xFIP last season on the whole. In his 4 starts against the Jays, Cashner went 0-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 24.2 innings. He allowed 26 hits, 4 of which went for home runs, while walking 9 and striking out just 14.
Cashner won’t strike many out, as his career 6.82 K/9 mark indicates. He was nearly a full strikeout per 9 innings below that in 2018, which was a marked improvement from his 2017 season in Texas, where he struck out just 4.64 batters per 9 innings.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lourdes Gurriel Jr. get the night off tonight. He has been struggling, and could use a breather to get himself right. As things stand right now, given his play on both offense and defense, I really think he would be the one who finds himself in Buffalo in couple weeks when Vladdy is ready to go.
I think we’ll see Danny Jansen back behind the plate in this one. He and Stroman worked so well together on opening day that it would be hard not to send Jansen back out there for Stroman’s second start. Luke Maile will get the start tomorrow, both catching Matt Shoemaker again, and getting the start in the day game after the night game.
It was nice to see Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez finally hit the ball hard last night. I hope this means they’re over their woes and they can help lead this offense going forward.
I was disappointed to see Sean Reid-Foley struggle so badly throwing strikes yesterday, as this really isn’t a team that you have to be careful pitching to. Obviously guys like Trey Mancini, Jonathan Villar and Dwight Smith Jr. are having great starts to their season, but perhaps with the exception of Mancini, they’re not the types of bats that you have to have pinpoint precision to be successful. Just don’t let them so easily get ahead in the count, although that’s obviously a very crude judgement of Reid-Foley’s start.
I totally forgot the Orioles had a pair of Rule 5 picks on their position player side of things that I was interested in seeing this season. Richie Martin Jr, selected out of the Oakland system, looked pretty solid at SS last night, and has drawn the start at SS in all 4 of the Orioles games. On the bench is outfielder Drew Jackson, taken out of the Dodgers’ system, who started in CF on Saturday.
Kevin Kiermaier had the Monster Bat on Monday night, going 2-3 with a homer, double and sac fly, driving in 4 runs for the Rays as they took out Colorado 7-1.
Mike Clevinger threw 7 innings of 1 hit shutout ball against the White Sox, walking 3 and striking out 12, so I’ll give him the Pitcher of the Day honours over Blue Jay killer David Hess. Clevinger also gave his team a .470 WPA to earn the WPA King title too, as he helped his Cleveland friends to the 5-3 win.
Find the Link
Find the link between Cashner and Aramis Ramirez.