Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Former prospect swings hot bat in last night’s contest

Aug 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Riley Adams (25) hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Riley Adams (25) hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays came into Washington needing a win and sadly, the pitching staff was just not throwing well against the Nationals. Mind you, some calls from umpire Angel Hernandez may have had a “minor” impact on a few innings/outcomes but nevertheless, the Blue Jays walked away with the loss and continue to struggle to gain playoff ground on this most recent road trip.

Their opponent featured a significantly different lineup last night compared to the last time these two teams faced off back in late April, with the Nationals selling off a lot of their assets like SS Trea Turner, RHP Max Scherzer, C Yan Gomes, OF Kyle Schwarber, RHP Daniel Hudson, INF Josh Harrison, and LHP Jon Lester at a busy trade deadline.

The Nats are also without Starlin Castro as the infielder is currently suspended for 30 games under the MLB’s domestic violence policy.

Even the Blue Jays pulled off a trade with the Nationals at the deadline, sending prospect catcher Riley Adams to Washington in exchange for southpaw reliever Brad Hand.

Former Blue Jays prospect Riley Adams had one of his best games of the season at the hands of his former club.

Considering the surplus of catching talent the Blue Jays organization possesses within the farm system, Ross Atkins and co. decided to include Adams in the deal knowing that:

  1. The other options within the system may keep him down in the minor leagues looking at the big picture
  2. The Bison’s roster has the potential to get very crowded with the likes of Gabriel Moreno most likely being promoted once he recovers from his injury and one of Reese McGuire, Danny Jansen, or Alejandro Kirk being shifted down to AAA once Jansen returns from the IL
  3. The Blue Jays needed some veteran talent in the bullpen and found that in Hand, a rental pitcher with closing experience

All and all, the trade made sense at the time, and even though Hand had a rough start with the Jays, he is still pitching to alright numbers in the form of a 3.38 ERA through seven appearances and 5.1 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. The pme free pass did lead to a walk-off for the Mariners this past weekend, hence why Jays fans are a little tentative with how this trade panned out as of right now.

On the flip side, with Gomes sent packing to Oakland, Adams was given an opportunity to play with the Nationals this season, something the catcher experienced earlier this year with the Jays when both Kirk and Jansen were on the IL.

Since joining the Nationals, Adams has hit to the tune of a .304/.385/.609 slash line with two home runs, six RBI, and a .993 OPS through 11 games and 23 at-bats.

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Last night against his former club would be one of his best games of the season, with the righty hitter going 3 for 4 on the night with one home run, three RBI, and one strikeout. The home run was a pretty well hit shot over the left-field wall off reliever Trent Thronton in the fourth inning and would give the Nationals an 8-1 lead over the Jays. Adams would later double in the bottom of the eighth inning to score two more runs, with his club emerging victorious with a score of 12-6.

When Adams was with the Blue Jays earlier this season prior to being sent back to AAA, he appeared in 12 games and had just three hits through 28 at-bats, slashing just .107/.167/.179 with a .346 OPS. Considering the catcher had three hits alone in last night’s game, it is safe to say the Nationals fans are quite happy with how this trade has panned out at the moment.

Not to be forgotten, another Blue Jays prospect also faced the club last night in the Nationals lineup, with former fifth-round pick Lane Thomas coming on to pinch-hit in the eighth inning and earning a walk before being driven in by Adams and putting his club out of the Jays reach. He was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals as part of the Lester trade late last month.

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Heading into tomorrow’s game, the Blue Jays will be sending right-hander Jose Berrios to the bump, who has faced the Nationals one time in his career and pitched seven innings without giving up an earned run while striking out four. The Jays will need him to replicate that tomorrow before they return back to the Rogers Centre this Friday.

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