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Thursday bantering

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a day makes eh? It was pleasing to see the bats come alive yesterday and especially good to see Handsome Randal™ start to justify his contract extension and all the shiny doubloons we are paying him.

And of course, the onus is on us Jays fans to give him time to live up to his new deal

Meanwhile, Bo Bichette feels ‘ready’ for majors after strong spring

And with the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here’s a look at where the Blue Jays’ Top 30 prospects are starting the year.

It identifies the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn’t make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an impact this year, a prospect who is ready to break out in 2019 and the team’s best defensive prospect.

Jays v Clevelanders up next

Next up is a trip to Cleveland.

Fun Fact: The Cuyahoga River, which runs through Cleveland, is known as “The River that Caught Fire.” The river has caught fire on thirteen different occasions, due to the high levels of pollution in it.

Starting pitcher match ups

Today: RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (0-0, 1.29 ERA)

Bauer held opponents to a .208 batting average last year, fourth-lowest in the AL. In his first start of 2019, he allowed one run in seven innings.

Friday: RHP Trent Thornton (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Justin Shane Bieber (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Cleveland had two scheduled off days in the first seven days of the season, so this is Justin Bieber’s first start. He gave up a run in two innings of relief on Sunday.

Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-1, 12.46 ERA)

Carrasco got torched in his first start of 2019, allowing six runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings on Sunday. Last season, his 17 wins were fourth-most in the AL. For the Blue Jays, Sean Reid-Foley was in this spot in the rotation on Monday. Lets hope we don’t see him again,,,

Sunday: RHP Marcus Stroman (0-1, 1.42 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Clevinger threw seven shutout innings in Cleveland’s home opener on Monday, allowing only one hit and striking out 12.

Meanwhile All-star shortstop Francisco Lindor (who already was rehabbing a right calf strain) suffered a left ankle sprain 8 days ago and will be missing until the end of the month.

Unsurprisingly, Cleveland has struggled without him, compiling a 2-3 record while scoring only 13 runs and striking out 58 times. Eric Stamets, who is replacing Lindor at shortstop, is 0-for-12 at the plate.

And other than Carlos Santana, Hanley Ramirez (.235) is the only Cleveland player hitting above the Mendoza line, and has hit both of Cleveland’s two home runs this season.

MLB bits

We may only be a week into the season but here are some trades teams should immediately consider. (The Nats going after Giles? The Padres trading for Stro?)

Jose Alvarado of the Rays throws 99mph, which seems a little unfair. But he also does this, which seems downright discourteous.

And its early days, but Cody Bellinger is hitting his stride nicely,

And to end (a fantastic read)

No job is too small - How John Shoemaker of the Dodgers, once a 38th-round pick, created a career spanning 40-plus years in baseball.