Blue Jays preview: The search for answers heads to Minnesota
Game 2: Friday, May 20th – 8:10 ET
Aaron Sanchez (3-1, 3.29 ERA) vs.
Tyler Duffey (1-2, 1.85 ERA)
Tyler Duffey got an opportunity with the Twins earlier in the season when Santana was dealing with some back stiffness and hasn’t looked back. The 25-year-old right-hander is coming off three consecutive quality starts.
He’s also coming off his strongest outing of the season, throwing seven shutout innings against the Cleveland Indians on the 15th, striking out six batters and allowing just one walk. In his two starts prior, he struck out nine and seven.
Duffey doesn’t do this with velocity, though. His fastball hovers right around 90 miles per hour and he compliments that with a curveball that he uses very heavily (43.4% usage). Expect to see a handful of change-ups worked in, too.
Toronto counters with Sanchez, whose season has been extremely strong outside of two starts, one of which came in his last time out.
Sanchez allowed six runs on seven hits against the Rangers. Like Estrada, he found some difficulties with the strike zone that day and walked four batters, getting himself stuck in some long at-bats.
His ground ball rates have remained excellent, however, and against a team struggling offensively like the Twins, Russell Martin and Sanchez can afford to pound the zone early in counts with greater aggression.
Sanchez still leans heavily on the hard stuff, throwing his fastball 72.3% of the time, but he’s increased his curveball and changeup usage this season as he looks to diversify his arsenal deeper into starts.
Next: Lefty on Lefty Saturday, Happ needs a rebound