Blue Jays’ Starter
Trent Thornton heads back to the mound looking to put his last start behind him. Thornton was brutal his last time out, putting his awesome start/terrible start pendulum back into balance. For the 4th time this season, Thornton just didn’t have it. He allowed 5 runs on 7 hits across just 2 innings, surrendering a pair of home runs while walking 2 and striking out just one.
Thornton has now had 4 starts where he has allowed an ERA of 7.20 or more (4 runs in 5 innings or worse), and 4 starts where he has allowed an ERA of 3.18 or less (2 runs in 5.2 innings or better). In those 4 good starts, he has thrown 22.2 innings, allowing just 8 hits. So like many rookies, he can be very hit or miss.
One of Thornton’s bad starts was a miss against the Giants a few weeks ago. He allowed 4 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings, allowing a home run to Joe Panik. Thornton did at least manage to strike out 5 in that game, and it was just the second time this season he didn’t walk anyone, so there were some positives to be gleaned from that poor start as well.
The Giants are going with an opener in this one, sending veteran reliever Nick Vincent to the mound. Vincent is having a pretty standard Nick Vincent season so far, with his strikeout rate (9.38 per 9 innings) walk rate (2.25 per 9 innings) and home run rate (0.75 per 9 innings) all very close to his career numbers. His 2.25 ERA is the best it has been since his sophomore season in 2013, although it has only been 24 innings so far.
Following Vincent isn’t known yet. According the San Francisco Examiner, Tyler Beede was originally scheduled to start, so it could be him getting the innings after the opener. Or it could be Derek Holland, who was recently demoted to the bullpen. My guess would be Beede, unless the reason he’s not making the actual start today is due to injury, but I haven’t seen any reports of that nature. So I’m guessing it’ll be the former Blue Jays’ top draft pick.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Vincent and Beede are righties, but Holland is a lefty, so maybe that will play into how the Jays make up their lineup, although Jonathan Davis/Billy McKinney seem to be the only ones who might be in a platoon. Maybe Eric Sogard (who is just 1 for his last 15) is in a platoon with Brandon Drury as well, but I haven’t seen that one play out yet. So maybe we’ll see some sort of indication by the Jays’ lineup about how they expect the Giants to use their bullpen.
Luke Maile is quite likely the catcher today, as he has caught the first 8 starts of Thornton’s career. However, the last couple weeks has seen Montoyo mix the catcher assignments up, with Thornton now being the only one who has had the same catcher all season. So perhaps we do see Danny Jansen behind the plate.
Also keep in mind that being in San Francisco means no DH, which likely means Rowdy Tellez is on the bench tonight.
Buster Posey is currently on the 7 day concussion Injury List, so we won’t see him today. He last played a week ago, and did take batting practice on Sunday, so his return could be imminent, although I still don’t expect to see him tomorrow either.
Brandon Belt is also on the questionable list, as he has missed some time recently with a knee injury. He hasn’t started in a game since Friday, although did have a pinch hit appearance in both games over the weekend, including hitting a home run on Sunday.
The big storyline for Jays’ fans is obviously checking out Kevin Pillar’s new home. The long-time Blue Jay fan favourite is off to a pretty poor start in his new uniform, hitting .232/.263/.416 and playing pretty underwhelming defense in CF. After getting off to an interesting and arguably strong start (arguable by someone like Buck Martinez, as Pillar drove in 12 runs in his first 10 starts, despite hitting just a 76 wRC+), he has driven in just 9 runs in the last month and his wRC+ remains virtually unchanged.
Yoan Moncada went 3-4, hitting a pair of home runs and a single to earn the Monster Bat award. Both of his home runs were solo shots, but they helped nonetheless as the White Sox took down the visiting team from Cleveland by a score of 5-2.
In that game Reynaldo Lopez allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts over 7.2 innings. On a night with a shortened schedule league wide, that was more than enough to earn the Pitcher of the Day honours.
The Mariners and Athletics played a very exciting game last night, as the top 4 WPA contributors league wide came from that game. Domingo Santana gets the WPA King title though, as his 10th inning double saved his Mariners from a dire 5-4 hole, tying up the game and getting himself into scoring position to ultimately score the winning run. Santana’s WPA on that play alone was .468, which was pretty much all of his .475 total.
Find the Link
Find the link between Vincent and Erasmo Ramirez.