The Toronto Blue Jays are currently 55-44, three games back of the division-leading Boston Red Sox
When the Blue Jays welcome the San Diego Padres to town for a three-game series tonight at the Rogers Centre, they’ll be seeing a team that could be on the verge of change. And soon.
Currently sitting at 43-56, the Padres are well out of the playoff race in the American League West and have already begun to sell off their assets, most recently to the Red Sox in the form of Drew Pomeranz.
Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. are both being widely discussed as potential trade targets, and both have been loosely linked to the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s very possible the Padres roster that enters Toronto is not the same one that leaves it, and for the Blue Jays, that’s good news.
Speaking of which, Jose Bautista is making his return to the lineup after being out since June 14th with a turf toe injury. He will slot back in at the top of the order and will start in right field, though John Gibbons is likely to use the DH spot to ease him back in.
Big Picture Stats:
- San Diego is average when it comes to run production, ranking 16th with 437. It’s a similar story when it comes to home runs, as the Padres rank 15th with 117 (Toronto is second behind the Baltimore Orioles with 142).
- The Padres are hitting just .243, putting them 25th in baseball. Their .303 on-base percentage ranks 28th, only topping the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. This is an ideal series for Blue Jays pitching.
- With 79 stolen bases, San Diego ranks third and could choose to push the envelope with little to lose.
- As a team, San Diego’s 4.56 ERA ranks 25th.
Padres to Watch:
- Wil Myers is enjoying a healthy and productive season, batting .275 with 20 home runs.
- Matt Kemp leads the Padres with 22 home runs and 67 RBI.
- Yangervis Solarte has been hot, improving his average to .294 and OPS to a team-best .877.
- Brett Wallace, the former Blue Jays can’t-miss prospect, is hitting .211 with five home runs as he’s often used in pinch-hit roles.
- Ryan Schimpf, another former Blue Jays minor leaguer, has four home runs in his last five games and nine in just 88 at-bats.
- Derek Norris is the everyday catcher, hitting .204 with 12 home runs.
- Alexei Ramirez is the Padres’ regular shortstop despite a .616 OPS. He currently holds a fWAR of -1.7, the second-worst in baseball. (Prince Fielder: -1.8).
- Upton, the potential trade candidate, is hitting .256 with 16 home runs and 20 stolen bases.
Game 2 – Tuesday, July 26th – 7:07 p.m. ET
Marcus Stroman (8-4, 4.90 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (4-7, 4.79 ERA)