After yesterday’s loss, the Blue Jays will take the quick turn around between games to try to put that behind them and take the opening series against the home town Yankees this afternoon. Gametime is set for the same 1:05 ET slot.
Blue Jays’ Starter
The Jays have opted to give the ball to T.J. Zeuch for the third start of the season, passing over a pair of rotation locks to go with the guy who was one of the last to earn a spot on the team. If Robbie Ray would have been healthy to start the season, I think Zeuch would have been starting the season at the alternate site, but that’s baseball. Hopefully Zeuch is able to take the opportunity and run with it.
A heavy sinkerballer, Zeuch has seen some positive returns on his work so far in the Majors. In his 34 career innings in 2019 and 2020, in which he worked out of the bullpen and made a few starts, he has a 3.71 ERA with a 4.32 FIP. He doesn’t get many strikeouts, thanks mostly to not having an out pitch, but he manages to limit damage by keeping the ball in the ballpark. He’s likely 20 years too late to be a hyped pitcher, but he can still be effective if he can keep the walks to a minimum and the ball on the ground.
The Yankees will go with notable POS Domingo Germán, who will be making his first start since 2019. Germán was suspended 81 games for domestic violence, serving 18 games in 2019 and the other 63 in 2020 (I would assume the final 3 were either eaten up by the playoffs, or were part of an agreement for the shorter season - I couldn’t find a concrete answer on that one). But now that he has served his suspension, the Yankees continue to show that they have no concern for the character of their players and have welcomed him with open arms back into their rotation, making a start here in the opening series.
Germán features a 4-seamer and a curveball predominantly, but will also mix in a sinking fastball and changeup. In the seasons prior to his domestic violence suspension, he was adept at racking up the strikeouts while somewhat limiting walks, but being a frequent victim of the home run. Hopefully the Jays can bring back those fond memories he has of watching the ball fly out of the ballpark.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Rise and shine, we've got a series to win ☀️ #WeAreBlueJays pic.twitter.com/D4YGLb15SQ— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 4, 2021
Kirk!! And Tellez gets the day off in lieu of ... Joe Panik.
Yankees lineup vs. Blue Jays:— Greg Joyce (@GJoyce9) April 4, 2021
Paul DeJong went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and a pair of walks yesterday, picking up the Monster Bat award along the way. His efforts weren’t enough though, as his Cardinals lost 9-6 to the Reds.
Zack Wheeler threw 7 fantastic innings, keeping the Braves off the board while allowing just 1 hit and striking out 10 to pick up the pitcher of the day award. His Phillies would go on to win 4-0.
Kenley Jansen entered the game with 1 out in the 8th inning with runners on first and second. He managed to get out of that inning while holding the 6-5 lead, and came back for the 9th inning as well, where he worked around a walk to pick up the 1.2 inning save. That work gave him a 0.51 WPA, and the WPA King trophy. I would like to note that the difference in this game was an inside the park home run, which is always a fun treat.
I will also note that, despite not winning any awards, José Berríos and Corbin Burnes threw the pitching duel of the year yesterday. Burnes allowed a 1 out home run in the seventh to break up his 11 strikeout no-hitter, while Berríos went 6 no-hit innings with 12 strikeouts, and the Twins’ no-hitter didn’t end until the 8th inning. The Twins ultimately won 2-0 over the Brewers. Combined, Berríos and Burnes threw 12.1 innings, allowing 1 home run, beaning 2 batters and striking out 23.
Find the Link
Find the link between Germán and the guy who everyone in Yankee land is excited to have activated for the back of their bullpen this afternoon.
Stats retrieved from Fangraphs