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Game #48 Preview: Manoah vs Germán

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Blue Jays (24-23) vs Yankees (28-20)

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Happy Manoah Day!

The Blue Jays look to make it two in a row against the Yankees this evening, as they play the middle game of their three game set at Yankee Stadium. The game will get underway at 7:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Highly regarded prospect Alek Manoah will make his Major League debut for the Jays. Manoah entered the season as one of the Jays’ best prospects, coming in on Fangraphs at #8 on the team, just outside their top 100 overall, and at MLB.com he was the Jays’ 5th best, and 97th overall.

Manoah made 3 starts this season for Buffalo, and definitely earned his promotion here today. In each start, he made it 6 innings, perhaps by design being pulled at that point. Over his 18 innings, he allowed just 1 run on 7 hits, 3 walks and 3 bean balls. He also struck out a very impressive 27.

Manoah throws a dominant fastball with a very good wipeout slider, coupled with decent control. Those two pitches alone would enable a pitcher to dominate his way through the Minors, and give him a solid floor for Major League success. The difference between that success being in the rotation or as a shutdown reliever in the bullpen will be tied to his 3rd pitch, the changeup. His changeup is a bit behind the other two, but will need to catch up in a hurry if he’s going to be able to get lefties out consistently. Luckily for Manoah, he’s facing a Yankees’ team that will have just 2-3 lefties, and one (Odor) can easily be blown away with the heat of Manoah’s fastball.

Yankees’ Starter

Starting for the Yankees is notable POS Domingo Germán. Germán, who was suspended 81 games for domestic violence which caused him to miss all of the 2020 season, will be making his 9th start of the year. So far on the season, he is 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA, quickly making the Yankee organization forget about his domestic abuse (not that they cared -outside of the lost production - in the first place).

Germán faced the Jays in his first start of the year back at the beginning of April. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits through 3 innings, walking 1 and striking out 2. He allowed a pair of home runs, one to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and one to Randal Grichuk. I would happily watch a dozen more home runs off this guy.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Don’t look now, but Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is heating up! Since the start of the most recent homestand, Gurriel is hitting .425/.425/.650 (199 wRC+) over 40 plate appearances. Of course, he hasn’t taken a walk since April 28, and only has 3 on the season, but when he’s hitting like this it doesn’t matter so much.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continued to separate himself from the field in fWAR yesterday with his home run, walk and single. He’s now up to 3.2 fWAR, 0.4 ahead of Nick Castellanos, Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole. Also right there on the list is Marcus Semien, coming into play at 2.2, 13th best in all of baseball, and 8th best among hitters.

Joe Panik and Rowdy Tellez were both starters in the game against the righty yesterday. I would imagine Tellez will be in there again today, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Panik as well. Manoah has seen more fly balls than average through the Minors, so between that and hopefully a bunch of strikeouts, infield defense shouldn’t matter a whole bunch.

Yankees’ Lineup

The right handed heavy group may have played into the decision making of getting Manoah his Major League debut here. In his short stint in the Minors, lefties have hit him a bit better, accounting for 4 of the 6 extra base hits against him, including the only home run of 2021. He also has 6 of his 8 professional walks against lefties, although all 6 bean balls have been against righties.

Brett Gardner will start in CF, and Rougned Odor will play 2B as two of the lefties. The Yankees also have Mike Ford and Tyler Wade on the bench as lefties, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one of them also in the lineup tonight.

DJ LeMahieu was placed on the paternity list prior to yesterday’s game. I missed hearing how long he will be away, although the Yankees didn’t make a roster move to cover his absence, so I would guess he’ll be back today.

Giancarlo Stanton, who I thought was going to be activated yesterday, especially with the roster spot open from LeMahieu, apparently wasn’t quite ready. There’s still hope on the Yankees’ side that he’ll be a part of this series.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joc Pederson went 3-5 with a pair of home runs and a double, driving in 3 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. Now in Chicago, Pederson helped his Cubs beat the Pirates 4-3.

Aaron Civale threw 8 strong innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 6 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. His Clevelanders were in a tight enough game that he also got the WPA King award with a .419 mark, helping carry his team to the 4-1 win over the Tigers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Brett Gardner, Michael Brantley and Starling Marte.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant