Guardians at Blue Jays, June 14-16

Friday, June 14 2024 @ 02:00 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

The Blue Jays spend the next two weeks playing Cleveland and Boston. We begin with a six game home stand, followed by a six game road trip. All very symmetrical.

The Guardians are one of just three AL teams that are scoring 5 runs per game, and when you look at their roster you wonder how that's possible. They have three good hitters - Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, and Steven Kwan - which doesn't seem quite enough. Those three have been really good, mind you. Naylor's only hitting .226, but he's on pace to hit 42 HRs and drive in 123. Jose Ramirez has been a great player for almost ten years, and he may need to begin thinking about what he's going to say at Cooperstown. But Steven Kwan is hitting .380? Seriously, three-eighty? Are they protecting him against southpaws? They are not (Kwan is hitting .431 against LH pitching.) We should also mention David Fry, who's been hitting better than Naylor, Ramirez, or Kwam. Fry is a 28 year old utility guy, in his second season - he's the backup first baseman, the third-string catcher, and he played a lot of left field when Kwan was injured last month. And when you're batting .321/.452/.565, your manager will look for ways to get you into the lineup.

The Guardians are seventh in the AL in BAVG, and they're also seventh in the AL in drawing Walks. So naturally they're third in the AL in OnBase Pct

The Guardians have been getting by without sometime ace Shane Bieber. The 2020 Cy Young winner won his first two starts in very impressive fashion (12 scoreless innings) but then had UCL surgery and is done for the year. At least Triston McKenzie is back after missing most of 2023, although he hasn't quite found his best form yet. Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen are both sophomores building on fine rookie performances; Carlos Carrasco is the prodigal returning to the scene of past triumphs after a rough 2023 with the Mets. Ben Lively is a 32 year old journeyman who was DFA'd by the Reds last year. Cleveland signed him for $750 K, gave him a chance when Bieber went down and here he is - 6-2, 2.59 in 10 starts.

As you've probably heard by now, the Blue Jays have made a roster move for tonight. The long anticipated DFA goblin has finally come for Daniel Vogelbach, and Addison Barger is back with the big club. I would say George Springer needs to start hitting very soon if he doesn't want to have the small half of a platoon gig, although the way Springer has hit against LH pitching this season makes one wonder just what he might still be good for.

Yariel Rodriguez turned in a very impressive rehab start at AAA Buffalo last Tuesday, striking out 10 in four scoreless innings. But it seems unlikely that the Jays would move him up a day to start on Saturday. Another option would be to pitch Berrios on Saturday and have Rodriguez start on Sunday. Bowden Francis will probably get one more start tomorrow while Rodriguez makes one more AAA start on Sunday and then rejoins the major league rotation after the Thursday off-day.


Fri 14 June - Allen (6-3, 5.57) vs Gausman (5-4, 4.00)
Sat 15 June - Carrasco (2-5, 5.50) vs Francis ?? (2-2, 7.36)
Sun 16 June - Lively (6-2, 2.59) vs Berrios (5-5, 2.93)