On Monday, July 23, the Blue Jays will open a three-game set at home against the Minnesota Twins. The Twins will send Adalberto Mejia to the mound and the Blue Jays will deploy a bullpen day, starting with Luis Santos.
Adalberto Mejia will make just his second start of the season on Monday night. The 25-year-old made his last start on June 30 against the Chicago Cubs. The young starter lasted just four innings, allowing six hits, three walks, and four earned runs.
The left-hander is not a stranger to the big leagues, though. Last season he made 21 starts and posted a 4.50 ERA and 4.65 FIP. However, despite this decent season, the southpaw did not make the opening day roster for the Twins this season.
It is somewhat surprising that he was so poor in his one start this season, as he has been dominating triple-A. In 14 games and 11 starts, the lefty owns a 3.32 ERA and 3.01 FIP in the minors. However, despite these good numbers, the team simply does not have space for the pitcher on their major league roster.
As a result of his poor outing against the Chicago Cubs, the left-handed hurler owns very poor numbers for the season. In just one start, he has managed a 9.00 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 2.250 WHIP, and 52 ERA+.
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The Minnesota starter offers a mix of four different pitches to create outs. This season he has predominantly used his four-seam fastball, while also relying on a sinker, slider, and change-up. Interestingly, the pitcher does a good job of tunneling his pitches, so they all look similar out of the hand.
Mejia has fired home four-seam fastballs 45.6% of the time this season. The four-seamer maintains decent velocity, clocking in at an average of 93.43 mph. In his four innings of work this year, the heater has never been hit—but it has given up three walks.
The left-hander has thrown his sinker 29.1% of the time this season. However, last year the pitch was featured just 14.7% of the time, so this may be a case of small sample size. The sinking-fastball is a little bit slower than the four-seamer, posting an average velocity of 91.98 mph. As well, while pitching against the Cubs, the sinker produced ground balls at a good rate of 50% of balls in play.
The Twins hurler has thrown his slider 13.9% of the time this season. The slider has been used about 12% less than in the past—also likely a result of small sample size. The breaking ball is the only pitch that produced a strikeout in Chicago—but it also gave up a single.
Mejia completes his pitch offerings with a change-up, a pitch that has been used 11.39% of the time this season. The off-speed pitch is a good drop in speed from the heater, maintaining an average velocity of 83.13 mph. The pitch has not fooled batters well, though, as it has given up two hits in two at-bats.
In the minor leagues, the southpaw has been above average at getting batters out via the strikeout. In 14 games at Triple-A, he has maintained a 23.6% K-rate and 8.81 K/9. However, his walk numbers are not great, posting a 7.7% BB-rate and 2.89 BB/9.
In his last appearance against the Blue Jays, the lefty was touched up for three earned runs across three innings pitched. Luckily for Mejia and the Twins, Josh Donaldson, the man who had a day to remember during this game (4-for-5 in the contest) is still sitting on the disabled list.
The Blue Jays have a good opportunity to extend their winning streak to four games on Monday night. However, a fair amount of run support will likely be needed to make up for the bullpen day.