|TORONTO ( HAPP )|
KANSAS CITY ( MENDOZA )
|971||TORONTO||+110||Ov 8.5,-105||-105||Ov 8,+100|
|972||KANSAS CITY||-120||Un 8.5,-115||-105||Un 8,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||3-4||-2.2||4-3||4.3||0.232||0.305||5.6||0.291||0.360|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.4||6-1||4.4||0.267||0.321||7.3||0.321||0.388|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-2||-0.9||1-2||4.0||0.260||0.333||4.3||0.257||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.2||3-4||5.9||0.308||0.357||3.1||0.243||0.296|
|4/9/2013||MORROW(R)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||3-7||L||110||8 ev||O||8||6||1||15||12||0|
|4/10/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)||8-6||W||125||9 un||O||12||8||1||11||9||0|
|4/11/2013||JOHNSON(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||1-11||L||125||8 un||O||9||9||0||16||11||0|
|4/12/2013||HAPP(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)|| |
|4/13/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|4/14/2013|| ||@ KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/15/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/16/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/17/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/18/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/19/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|4/1/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||0-1||L||125||7 un||U||7||8||0||8||8||0|
|4/3/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||2-5||L||130||7.5 un||U||5||6||0||8||3||3|
|4/4/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||FLOYD(R)||3-1||W||105||8 un||U||5||3||0||8||9||1|
|4/5/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)||13-4||W||110||8 un||O||19||9||0||9||4||0|
|4/6/2013||MENDOZA(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LANNAN(L)||3-4||L||100||8 un||U||6||4||0||3||5||2|
|4/7/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||HAMELS(L)||9-8||W||110||7 un||O||13||8||0||15||8||0|
|4/14/2013|| ||TORONTO|| || |
|4/16/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|4/17/2013|| ||@ ATLANTA|| || |
|4/19/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|TORONTO: HITTING: SS YUNEL ESCOBAR brings a little pop and could score runs in bunches atop a solid lineup. OF JOSE BAUTISTA has simply been the best hitter in baseball the past two seasons. 1B ADAM LIND will have plenty of RBI chances, but his average stinks and he faded late last year. 3B BRETT LAWRIE will be a 30-30 candidate in his prime and he's a solid slugger already. Expect big power numbers but a painful average in C J.P. ARENCIBIA's sophomore season. OF COLBY RASMUS should have his head right this year and could see an uptick in power numbers. 2B KELLY JOHNSON improved his dreadful average after being traded to Toronto. He has great potential as a 20-20 candidate. DH EDWIN ENCARNACION raked at home last season and has the position flexibility to stay in the lineup every day. OF ERIC THAMES will start in left field. Thames has 15-15 potential. OF RAJAI DAVIS' speed makes him worthy of staying in the fourth outfielder role. |
STARTING PITCHING: He's not really an ace, but RICKY ROMERO is a solid innings-eater at the front of the Jays' staff. He's a low-risk, low-reward starting pitcher. BRANDON MORROW's talent is intriguing. His mid-90s heat and deceptive slider lead to huge strikeout tallies, but also leads to a lot of gopher balls. Questionable conditioning was an issue for BRETT CECIL last year, as he gave up a whopping 37 HR between the majors and Triple-A. He seemed to straighten things out over the second half of last season. HENDERSON ALVAREZ's performance as a 21-year-old gives him an inside track for a rotation spot. He has intriguing upside. DUSTIN McGOWAN returned in September from a 38-month layoff to put himself in the mix for the rotation. His mid-90s gas is still there, giving him 175-K potential. KYLE DRABEK has great potential, but he was a disaster in 2011. He could not command his promising arsenal of pitches, and broke down mentally at times.
RELIEF PITCHING: SERGIO SANTOS has unhittable stuff, but will have to battle newcomer FRANCISCO CORDERO as Toronto's closer. Cordero's strikeout rate dropped down to a putrid 5.4 K/9 last year, but he showed great command with a stellar 1.02 WHIP. CASEY JANSSEN was Toronto's most improved pitcher in 2011. He has a sinking fastball, a pretty good K rate and performed quite well against the AL East last season. Prospect JOEL CARRENO, a starter in the minors, is a closer-in-waiting. He was impressive out of the pen after a late-August call-up, and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, albeit with shaky control, in the minors.
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TORONTO-KANSAS CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Blue Jays-Royals Preview* ==========================
By JUSTIN EINHORN STATS Senior Editor
Toronto (3-5) at Kansas City (6-3), 8:10 p.m. EDT
The revamped starting staff of the Toronto Blue Jays has been a major flop. In fact, its only win didn't come from one of their big-name newcomers.
It was turned in by No. 5 starter J.A. Happ, who looks to give Toronto a positive ending to a dismal run through the rotation and help prevent the Kansas City Royals from notching their best 10-game start in a decade Friday night.
As the disappointing Blue Jays (3-6) open a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium in the AL East basement, the Royals are atop the Central and riding a four-game winning streak.
While Kansas City's starters have not allowed more than four runs in any outing, their Toronto counterparts have given up more than four in four straight starts. R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson all failed to get through five innings while compiling a 14.79 ERA as opponents hit .458.
Blue Jays starters are 1-4 overall with a major league-worst 7.59 ERA.
"We definitely need a good outing pretty soon to help the bullpen, and things aren't going to get much easier in Kansas City," manager John Gibbons said.
The last time Gibbons saw a starter provide a good performance was Saturday when Happ yielded one hit and struck out six in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-0 victory over Boston.
The left-hander is relying more on his changeup, hoping for better results after going 16-26 with a 5.08 ERA over the past two seasons.
"I used to use it quite a bit and I'm trying to get to the point where I find that comfort zone with it," Happ said.
Kansas City seems plenty comfortable, ranking among the AL's best in batting average (.281), fielding percentage (.991) and ERA (3.20).
The Royals (6-3) have had no more than six victories through 10 games since opening 9-1 in 2003 - the last year they had a winning record. That's also the last time they won their first three home games, something they achieved this week with a sweep of Minnesota. Kansas City opened 0-10 at Kauffman Stadium in 2012.
"That's in the past," manager Ned Yost said. "That's not in our mind anymore. We remember it, but this is a new team. It's nice to be 6-3."
Yost's club now looks to record its longest win streak since a seven-game run in September 2011.
Billy Butler has keyed this four-game surge with a .429 average, two homers and 10 RBIs, while leadoff man Alex Gordon has gone 7 for 16 with six runs scored.
The last Royals starting pitcher not to win is taking the mound, though Luis Mendoza was hardly to blame. He surrendered one run and two hits over six innings while striking out seven at Philadelphia on Saturday, when the bullpen blew a two-run lead in a 4-3 defeat.
"I've been working on my breaking pitches," Mendoza said. "That's how I got strikeouts (Saturday)."
His career high of nine strikeouts came the last time he faced the Jays, when he gave up three runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss July 4. Mendoza had a 6.06 ERA in his previous four games against them.
Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia - Toronto's 3-4-5 hitters in an 11-1 loss at Detroit on Thursday - are a combined 10 for 16 against Mendoza.
Happ won his lone outing against the Royals while with Houston on June 18, throwing six innings of two-run ball.
Toronto won six of eight in last season's series, including a four-game sweep in Kansas City.
|Last Updated: 10/23/2017 7:19:59 PM EST|