Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Joe Biagini will make his first major league start on Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Rays after 74 relief appearances out of the bullpen over the past two seasons.
The Blue Jays designated Mat Latos for assignment earlier yesterday which opened the door for Joe Biagini to finally get summoned for a major league start. Biagini has arguably been their best reliever this season in a bullpen lacking depth.
The 26-year old Biagini is vying to be one of the better Rule-5 picks in team history after the Jays selected him from the San Francisco Giants. Last season Biagini cemented himself as a cog in the bullpen making 60 appearances during mostly high leverage situations.
Biagini is no stranger to starting ball games as the hurler was primarily a starter in the Giants farm system making 86 starts in 89 minor league games. The native of California went 29-30 with a 4.06 earned run average and a 1.353 WHIP while striking out 365 in 448 innings of work.
The Jays have experimented with Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence in the starters role already this season but neither pitcher was dominant. Biagini, if successful as a starter could see more than just Sunday’s start as it does not appear that J.A. Happ is close to returning to action.
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Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons has tabbed Biagini for 4 innings and a 60 pitch count maximum for his start on Sunday. That is a reasonable workload seeing Biagini hasn’t thrown more than 2 innings in an appearance this season.
It wouldn’t be in the hurler’s character not to provide a peculiar quote or do something zany so here it is. Don’t try and make sense or interpret the quote that Biagini made to Arash Madani.
Biagini last pitched versus the New York Yankees on Wednesday taking the loss and surrendering 3 runs while striking out 5 in 1.2 innings of work. He will toe the rubber opposite Alex Cobb in the series finale on Sunday.