|TORONTO ( ANDERSON )|
MINNESOTA ( BERRIOS )
|971||TORONTO||+155||Ov 9.5,-110||+140||Ov 9.5,+100|
|972||MINNESOTA||-165||Un 9.5,-110||-150||Un 9.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||55-56||-7.6||53-53||4.4||0.245||0.314||0.411||0.725||4.8||0.256||0.324||0.411||0.735|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.2||2-5||3.7||0.284||0.336||0.409||0.745||3.4||0.216||0.260||0.362||0.622|
|vs Left-handed Starters||22-20||+3.2||20-19||5.0||0.263||0.338||0.427||0.765||5.0||0.259||0.319||0.426||0.745|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.6||4-3||6.6||0.310||0.371||0.573||0.944||4.3||0.279||0.331||0.438||0.768|
|8/31/2017||ESTRADA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||HELLICKSON(R)||11-8||W||125||10 ev||O||11||5||2||16||8||0|
|9/1/2017||BIAGINI(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GAUSMAN(R)||0-1||L||180||9.5 un||U||7||10||0||9||11||1|
|9/2/2017||STROMAN(R)||@ BALTIMORE||MILEY(L)||7-2||W||100||9 un||P||9||5||1||8||7||0|
|9/3/2017||ANDERSON(L)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||4-5||L||135||10.5 ov||U||6||5||0||15||12||0|
|9/4/2017||HAPP(L)||@ BOSTON||PORCELLO(R)||10-4||W||155||9.5 ov||O||14||7||1||9||10||0|
|9/5/2017||ESTRADA(R)||@ BOSTON||RODRIGUEZ(L)||2-3||L||180||9.5 ov||U||12||12||0||11||11||2|
|9/6/2017||BIAGINI(R)||@ BOSTON||FISTER(R)||1-6||L||165||9.5 un||U||4||7||2||9||8||1|
|9/14/2017||ANDERSON(L)||@ MINNESOTA||BERRIOS(R)|| |
|9/15/2017||HAPP(L)||@ MINNESOTA||COLON(R)|| |
|9/16/2017||ESTRADA(R)||@ MINNESOTA||MEJIA(L)|| |
|9/17/2017||BIAGINI(R)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)|| |
|9/19/2017||STROMAN(R)||KANSAS CITY||KENNEDY(R)|| |
|9/20/2017|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|9/21/2017|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|8/31/2017||COLON(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||GONZALEZ(R)||5-4||W||-155||9.5 un||U||9||10||0||12||9||0|
|9/1/2017||GEE(R)||KANSAS CITY||HAMMEL(R)||6-7||L||-105||9.5 un||O||9||7||0||12||6||1|
|9/2/2017||GIBSON(R)||KANSAS CITY||GARCIA(L)||17-0||W||-150||10 ov||O||14||5||0||7||6||0|
|9/3/2017||SANTANA(R)||KANSAS CITY||KENNEDY(R)||4-5||L||-175||9.5 ov||U||5||6||0||9||5||3|
|9/4/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||4-11||L||110||8 un||O||5||5||0||13||6||1|
|9/5/2017||COLON(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)||1-2||L||130||9 un||U||4||3||1||6||6||0|
|9/6/2017||SLEGERS(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||SNELL(L)||10-6||W||160||8.5 ev||O||12||5||0||8||4||1|
|9/7/2017||GIBSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GAVIGLIO(R)||4-2||W||-110||9.5 un||U||10||10||0||9||4||0|
|9/8/2017||SANTANA(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||KENNEDY(R)||8-5||W||-130||9 ov||O||10||8||0||9||3||1|
|9/9/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||JUNIS(R)||2-5||L||100||9 ev||U||9||8||0||11||7||0|
|9/10/2017||COLON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)||3-11||L||125||10 ev||O||8||7||0||17||6||1|
|9/12/2017||GIBSON(R)||SAN DIEGO||WOOD(L)||16-0||W||-170||10 un||O||18||4||1||4||6||0|
|9/13/2017||SANTANA(R)||SAN DIEGO||LAMET(R)||3-1||W||-145||9 ev||U||10||8||0||7||8||1|
|9/18/2017||SANTANA(R)||@ NY YANKEES||GARCIA(L)|| |
|9/19/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||TANAKA(R)|| |
|9/20/2017|| ||@ NY YANKEES|| || |
|9/21/2017|| ||@ DETROIT|| || |
|TORONTO: 2016: 89-73, second place
Manager: John Gibbons (10th season)
Who's new? 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, IF/OF Steve Pearce, IF Lourdes Gurriel, LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Joe Smith
Who's gone? 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Michael Saunders, C Josh Thole, C Dioner Navarro, OF Junior Lake, RHP R.A. Dickey, LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Joaquin Benoit
Projected lineup: 2B Devon Travis (.300, 11 HR, 50 RBI), 3B Josh Donaldson (.284, 37, 99), RF Jose Bautista (.234, 22, 69), DH Kendrys Morales (.263, 30, 93 with Royals), SS Troy Tulowitzki (.254, 24, 79), C Russell Martin (.231, 20, 74), 1B Justin Smoak (.217, 14, 34), CF Kevin Pillar (.266, 7, 53, 14 SB), LF Ezequiel Carrera (.248, 6, 23)
Rotation: RH Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.48 ERA), LH J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18), RH Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37), RH Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00), LH Francisco Liriano (8-13, 4.69 with Pirates and Blue Jays)
Key relievers: RH Roberto Osuna (4-3, 2.68, 36/42 SV), RH Jason Grilli (6-4, 3.64), RH Joe Biagini (4-3, 3.06), LH J.P. Howell (1-1, 4.09 with Dodgers), RH Joe Smith (1-4, 3.82 with Angels), LH Aaron Loup (0-0, 5.02)
Hot spots: bullpen. The Blue Jays signed only a couple high-profile free agents (retaining Bautista, adding Morales) and brought in many lower-profile veterans mostly to compete for bullpen jobs. Howell and Smith, signed to low-risk deals, are all but guaranteed jobs. But what of Dominic Leone, Mat Latos, Mike Bolsinger, Lucas Harrell and Leonel Campos? Toronto seems to be crowd-sourcing its middle innings with low-risk, right-handed options. Up to a half-dozen pitchers could be competing for one or two jobs.
Outlook: The Blue Jays' roster is enviably balanced, albeit among the older ones in the league. Toronto led the AL in ERA last year. Their entire starting rotation returns, and their veteran bullpen is set up well to support second-year closer Osuna. Ironically, the youngest player in the Jays' starting lineup, 26-year-old Travis, has the biggest health concern of the bunch. He didn't appear in a spring training game until recently because of offseason knee surgery. Encarnacion, who was good for .270/30/100 every year, will be missed. The question now is whether Morales (33), Bautista (36), Tulowitzki (32) and Martin (34) are still close enough to their primes to power another playoff run.
|MINNESOTA: 2016: 59-103, fifth place.
Manager: Paul Molitor (third season).
He's Here: C Jason Castro, RHP Matt Belisle, SS Ehire Adrianza, LHP Craig Breslow.
He's Outta Here: 3B Trevor Plouffe, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Tommy Milone, RHP Pat Light.
Projected lineup: 2B Brian Dozier (.268, 42, 99, 18/20 SBs), RF Max Kepler (.235, 17, 63), CF Byron Buxton (.225, 10 HRs, 38 RBIs, 118 Ks in 298 ABs), 1B Joe Mauer (.261, 11, 49), 3B Miguel Sano (.236, 25, 66, 178 Ks in 437 ABs), DH Kennys Vargas (.230, 10, 20 in 152 ABs), LF Eddie Rosario (.269, 10, 32), C Jason Castro (.210, 11, 32 with Houston), SS Jorge Polanco (.282, 4, 27 in 245 ABs).
Rotation: RH Ervin Santana (7-11, 3.38 ERA, 149 Ks), RH Phil Hughes (1-7, 5.95, 11 HRs, 11 starts), LH Hector Santiago (3-6, 5.58, 13 HRs, 11 starts after trade with Angels), RH Kyle Gibson (6-11, 5.07, 1.561 WHIP), LH Adalberto Mejia (rookie).
Key relievers: RH Brandon Kintzler (0-2, 3.15, 17/20 saves), RH Matt Belisle (0-0, 1.76 in 40 games for Nationals), RH Ryan Pressly (6-7, 3.70, 1 save in 72 games), LH Taylor Rogers (3-1, 3.96, 64 Ks in 57 games), LH Craig Breslow (0-2, 4.50 in 15 games for Marlins).
Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. The resuscitation of a team with the worst record in the majors last season must begin with starting pitching that ranked 30th out of 30 in wins (37), ERA (5.39) and strikeouts (655). Hughes, Santiago, Gibson and Berrios will all be counted on to make 2016 the aberration and not the standard. Adding Castro, who has a strong reputation for game calling and pitch framing, probably can't hurt. There's enough depth in the group at least to give the Twins a chance to return to respectability as new baseball chief Derek Falvey continues to try to revamp organizational philosophy and process for the long term. The bullpen appears more vulnerable than the rotation, despite being bolstered by the addition of the veteran Belisle. Three-time All-Star closer Glen Perkins is still working his way back from surgery last year to repair a torn labrum and will likely land on the disabled list to start the season. Kintzler fared well in his place, but doesn't have a track record.
Outlook: The Twins ranked a respectable sixth in the American League in total bases and eighth in OPS despite their abysmal record last year. Buxton's sparkling September, following a second straight frustrating summer, restored his and the club's confidence in the 2012 second overall draft pick. Dozier probably hit his power ceiling in 2016, but if Buxton and Sano can strike out less and get on base more there's the potential in place for a productive offense. Vargas hit his way back into contention for the DH spot with a decent finish to 2016, but the pressure is on him to prove he's worth a spot in the lineup with a strong performance this spring by Park, who struggled badly to adjust to major league pitching in his arrival from South Korea last year.
|Twins try to keep guard up vs. Blue Jays|
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins opened a six-game homestand this week against two teams buried in the standings as they try to keep their hold on the second wild-card spot in the American League.
Twins manager Paul Molitor has cautioned his team about taking any team lightly and said they need to continue to execute the way they have during a big surge in August and September.
Minnesota followed through with a 16-0 victory against San Diego on Tuesday and a 10-inning victory Wednesday thanks to Eddie Rosario's two-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning.
Playing a four-game series against Toronto, whose sluggers usually enjoy their trips to Target Field, presents the next challenge.
"We're trying to get these guys not falling into the trap of, 'You're supposed to win these games,'" Molitor said after Rosario's winning homer. "We've been through various clubs that you say, 'You've got to win. You should win.' It just doesn't work that way.
"You've got to go out there and you've got to pitch and you've got to catch it and you've got to hit it and you've got to execute and you've got to move runners and you've got to be smart. (Wednesday), we had to fight with everything we had to try to find a way to win."
The Twins and Blue Jays open their series Thursday with Minnesota sending right-hander Jose Berrios (12-7, 3.94 ERA) to the mound against left-hander Brett Anderson (3-3, 5.90).
The Twins challenged two years ago before fading late, a fact not lost on Toronto manager John Gibbons. But Gibbons has watched how Minnesota has bounced back again this year with a surprising offense that leads the majors in home runs since Aug. 8 and is second in the majors in scoring since the All-Star break.
"Two years ago (the Twins) hung in there until the end, and then last year it kind of blew up on them," Gibbons told MLB.com. "I tip my hat to them over there, what they're doing. Molitor has done a great job. They have some pop in that lineup and it's a different-looking team. They have some athletes, they all run pretty good, for the most part. I've been impressed."
Anderson has impressed a bit as well in recent starts for the Blue Jays. The veteran left-hander has allowed six runs in his three starts, spanning 17 2/3 innings. Anderson has succeeded by not walking batters and working quickly.
He hasn't walked a batter in his three starts with the Blue Jays and has not allowed more than three runs in any start.
"I felt strong. It was the same amount of ups and downs, but it was like 30 more pitches this outing, and I felt just as strong at the end as I did last outing," Anderson told MLB.com after his last outing. "I feel like my body is building up and I'm able to go out there for lengthier periods of time going forward, and it was good to get my first Blue Jays win."
Anderson is 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in eight games (six starts) against Minnesota in his career.
Berrios is coming off a seven-inning, two-run no-decision in his last outing against Kansas City. Berrios has never faced Toronto, which still has Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista to lead the offense.
Donaldson has hit .298 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 15 career games at Minnesota's Target Field. Bautista has 14 homers and 23 RBIs in 21 games at the park.
But the Twins, after pulling out their fourth walk-off win of the season Wednesday, look to keep their momentum going.
"You're starting to get that feel, the less games you have to play, that it starts to mount," Molitor said of handling the pressure. "And you've just got to respond. You try to encourage the guys to have fun. You try to string together good at-bats where you can. Every once in a while, somebody's going to steal a moment."
Reliever Matt Belisle, who picked up the win in relief Wednesday, said the players believe in themselves.
"We've thought we've had something special since the All-Star break, so our mindset really has not changed," Belisle said. "Nobody's really concerned about the standings. We're just concerned about each nine-inning game that's in front of us and -- I know it sounds clich' -- but the guys are doing such a good job of embracing that, and that's what's special about this club.
"Sure, we're having fun and we expect good things, but we've had a mindset for this type of game a long time ago."
|Last Updated: 1/22/2018 12:04:30 PM EST|