Happy #TransactionFriday, or it at least feels like there’s a good chance this will be a Transaction Friday, and the prospect of that has me a little sad. As a distraction, the Blue Jays continue their home stand this weekend, welcoming the Rays in for a 3 game set. Tonight’s game gets underway at the normal 7:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Rookie right hander Jacob Waguespack will make his 3rd start and 5th appearance overall. While the ERA hasn’t been nice over his 19 innings of work, as it currently sits at 5.68, his peripherals actually look pretty good. He has struck out 20 against just 4 walks, although he has also allowed 3 home runs. That gives him a pretty good 4.11 FIP, which is a lot more in line with what he did in the Minors prior to struggling in Buffalo this year. There’s hope here for the 25 year old.
The Rays are going with an opener in this one, as Diego Castillo gets the call. This will be Castillo’s first opening assignment of 2019, a role he filled 11 times in 2018. In 38 relief appearances this year, Castillo is 1-6 with a 3.96 ERA, striking out 10.01 batters per 9 innings while walking 4.19. He has pitched 4 innings against the Jays this year, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Following Castillo seems likely to be Ryan Yarbrough. Yarbrough is 8-3 with a 3.93 ERA, but has really seen his season turn around since the middle of June. In his last 27.1 innings, he has allowed just 3 runs on 16 hits, walking 2 and striking out 24. He had a 5.59 ERA at the start of that stretch, but it sure looks a lot better now.
Yarbrough has faced the Jays just twice this season, and in typical Yarbrough fashion, has completely dominated them. He allowed 2 hits and a walk in 5.2 shutout innings, surprisingly striking out just 1.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Castillo is a right hander, but Yarbrough is a left hander. With 8 of his 35 appearances going more than 1 inning, I would imagine that a successful first inning would bring Castillo back out for a second. So I would guess that Cavan Biggio is going to be the cleanup hitter, either getting the chance to bat in the first with a runner on (or already in) against the righty, or maybe make Kevin Cash think about taking Castillo out if he has a perfect first inning.
If they’re still on the team by gametime, Eric Sogard and Freddy Galvis seem to be pretty entrenched in the top 2 spots in the batting order right now, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. right behind them. The order after that gets a little murkier, although Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Danny Jansen have been creeping back up the lineup lately.
Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz are all on the Injured List right now, a group that has contributed to 5.6 of the batter’s total 15.2 WAR for the Rays’. It’s not much of a surprise to see Kiermaier head to the IL, as his all out play gets him at least one stint every year. He has played more than 108 games just once in 6 years, back in 2015.
Guillermo Heredia got all 3 starts in CF against the Red Sox this week after Kiermaier went down last weekend, although all 3 games were against lefties. If they’re going with a strict platoon, it’s probably Avisail Garcia in CF against the righties.
With Lowe injured, second base has been covered by the platoon of Joey Wendle and Michael Brosseau, which means we’ll likely see Wendle at the position today. Over at 3B, Yandy Diaz’ normal spot, Matt Duffy came back from the IL the day after Diaz went down, so there wasn’t an uncomfortable transition required there.
The Orioles and Angels played into the 16th inning, with the Orioles finally winning 10-8. That kind of game is bound to produce a lot of extreme WPA scores, and also a pretty fun looking WPA chart. Jonathan Villar, who scored a brief go ahead run in the 15th before hitting the final go ahead home run in the 16th collected the most WPA, taking home the WPA King title with a .485 mark.
Find the Link
Find the link between Castillo and Mallex Smith.