Good morning and welcome to the beginning of a new era! The Blue Jays welcome the Oakland Athletics to Toronto, and the tonight is scheduled to be the Major League debut of Major League Baseball’s undisputed number 1 prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. So sit back and enjoy the game, which gets underway at 7:07 ET tonight.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Marcus Stroman heads to the mound, making his second consecutive start against the Athletics, after dominating them last Friday night. Stroman twirled 8 wonderful innings, allowing just a run on 6 hits and a pair of walks, while notching 6 strikeouts. He was brought back for the 9th inning at 100 pitches, but gave up a leadoff double to Kendrys Morales leading off the 9th and was promptly pulled short of a complete game.
That start a week ago was just another chapter in what is turning into a very good start to his 2019 season. Through 5 starts and 30.2 innings, Stroman carries a 1.76 ERA and a nearly as impressive 2.40 FIP. The FIP is so strong because Stroman has yet to allow a home run this year, a feat that is sure to come to an end likely sooner rather than later. But he’s also doing a good job generating swings and misses, so if he can get his walk rate anywhere near his career norms, he should still be quite alright, even if the home runs start coming.
Since we’re playing the A’s on back to back weekends, we get the privilege of seeing Mike Fiers again. The veteran righty came into last Saturday’s matchup against Matt Shoemaker with a 7.06 ERA, and left a richer man as his ERA grew to 8.28. The Jays chased Fiers after just 3.1 innings, striking for 6 runs on 9 hits, getting 4th inning home runs from Brandon Drury and Rowdy Tellez.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
VLADIMIR GUERRERO JR IS A BLUE JAY!!!!!!!!
That’s right. The young phenom has finally made his way to The Show, bringing with him renewed hope for a fanbase that can otherwise only get excited about the Raptors.
Guerrero’s Minor League career comes to a close after hitting .331 with 44 HR and an astonishing 150 BB to 139 K in 288 games, mostly as a teenager.
In order to get Guerrero on the roster, he needs a 40 man spot and a 25 man spot. The 40 man roster spot was opened up after Matt Shoemaker went down for the season. The 25 man roster spot will likely be created by Freddy Galvis hitting the IL.
If Galvis does indeed go to the IL, that means that Richard Ureña will likely get the bulk of the playing time at SS, while some combination of Brandon Drury, Eric Sogard and Alen Hanson split time at 2B. It feels like a platoon of Drury and Sogard is likely, while Hanson gets a lot of bench time (and inexplicable starts in RF).
Their field of position players remains unchanged from last weekend, so look for very similar lineups to what we saw against the Jays last weekend.
Khris Davis hasn’t hit very well since the start of the series last weekend. After going 0-4 against Stroman last Friday to bring his batting average down to his standard .247, he has since seen the number drop even further, now down to .232.
Right fielder Stephen Piscotty has upped his game over the last week, raising his batting average up to .294 after entering last weekend’s series at a .224 mark. He even stole his first base of the season on Wednesday night.
Trevor Bauer made it through 8 strong innings (despite walking 6) in a 2-1 win for Cleveland over the Astros. The close game plus a lot of innings combination gives Bauer the WPA King title with a total of .482.
Find the Link
Find the link between Fiers and MLB.com’s number 1 overall prospect at the start of the 2012 season (it wasn’t Profar, Trout or Harper).