Even with the absence of Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays have an opportunity to stymie the mounting losses this weekend.
The Jays will be entering the batters box against Wade Miley tonight, Good Friday, and Baltimore farmhand Alec Asher tomorrow, who had a dreadful campaign with the Phillies in 2015 garnering an 0-9 record that year with an ERA of 9.31. Last year in limited playing time he went 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA, also with the Phillies.
There’s only so much “sweeping under the rug” the Orioles can do to hide the fact that their starting rotation is the weak underbelly of that team, especially these days, with their “ace” Chris Tillman shelved.
In Miley’s first outing of the season he allowed 7 free passes over 5 frames. So as long as the Jays have a patient approach at the plate, and look for hangers and center-cut fastballs, they should be able to return to old form and barrel up some balls, given Miley’s erratic arm.
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As for Asher on Saturday, the Jays’ bats should hopefully be able to give him a warm American League reception. He has yet to pitch in a major league contest this year, so even with the Jays seemingly mired in an offensive slump, he could be in for a hearty welcoming to the A.L. East.
Aaron Sanchez will be taking the ball today for the Jays who in his first outing of the season held his opponents to a.160 batting average. Marco Estrada gets the start on Saturday while J.A. Happ closes out the series on Easter Sunday versus Dylan Bundy.
There are a lot of ifs, but there is some potential here for the Jays to right the ship somewhat and hopefully calm the nerves of their significant fanbase.
Also worth noting is that Chris Coghlan is being called up. He’s had a healthy offensive showing down at Triple A Buffalo so far, so hopefully he’ll be able to parlay that success into helping jump-start our sputtering offence as well.
A decent finish to close out the Orioles series, plus a day off on Monday should position the Jays as well as can be, squaring up against the pundits’ favourite, Boston Red Sox at home on Tuesday to close out the home stand.
Let’s bear in mind the much-publicized flu bug that is apparently making its way through the Sox clubhouse. Last year’s MVP runner-up Mookie Betts is apparently currently under the weather amongst others, and Rick Porcello by all accounts is not 2016 Cy Young Porcello, while David Price is also still on the D.L.
So as one can glean, even though the Jays record might be the most glaring at the moment, other clubs are dealing with their own share of problems, and if you have a look at our very own Mike Weiler’s article today, you should be able to reasonably come to the conclusion that it is much too early to make any declarations about who’s in and who’s out for the 2017 post-season.