Game Thread, Blue Jays v. Twins May 22 1:10pm
Starters: Marcus Stroman (4-1, 4.23 ERA) v. Phil Hughes (1-6, 5.70 ERA)
1: Phil Hughes
Oh boy… here we go. So Hughes had a pretty good outing a few days ago, but he was pulled at around 75 pitches. Then Trevor May came in and blew the game. There was some debate about what should have happened.
I myself can understand why they pulled him. Hughes was about to go up against the meat of the Blue Jays’ lineup and Molitor wanted May to face them instead.
The problem is that apparently at around 75 pitches, Hughes is losing velocity due to shoulder fatigue. So, does that mean he won’t go past 80 pitches today?
If so, Hughes should be immediately DL’d until he can throw more pitches without shoulder fatigue. What’s the point of throwing pitches in a lost season for Phil Hughes? He should rest his arm until he can pitch. He’s under contract for another 3 seasons after this one, so he shouldn’t waste his injured arm now
2: Marcus Stroman
Stroman only got in 4 starts in 2015 but he’s made it this far into the season without any problems.
Here’s his career stat-line:
ERA 3.57 (FIP 3.09), H/9 8.4, HR/9 0.5, BB/9 2.1, K/9 7.1
If Stroman can continue to improve on his career numbers (it’s his 3rd season in the majors), then he looks like a valuable asset to any team’s pitching staff. None of his numbers really stick out to me, so that’s all I have to say about him.
3: Lineup Analysis
1. Jose Bautista ® RF
2. Josh Donaldson ® 3B
3. Edwin Encarnacion ® DH
4. Michael Saunders (L) LF
5. Troy Tulowitzki ® SS
6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
7. Russell Martin ® C
8. Darwin Barney ® 2B
9. Kevin Pillar ® CF
1. Brian Dozier ® 2B
2. Eduardo Nunez ® SS
3. Joe Mauer (L) 1B
4. Trevor Plouffe ® 3B
5. Byung Ho Park ® DH
6. Robbie Grossman (S) LF
7. Oswaldo Arcia (L) RF
8. Kurt Suzuki ® C
9. Danny Santana (S) CF
I don’t have many things to say about this lineup. I do think it’s interesting to see Arcia playing in RF, the position that was his back in 2014. I thought it was an odd move when Torii Hunter was signed and Arcia had to play LF instead of RF. I think Oswaldo might be a better fielder in right.
4: Eduardo Nunez
He’s the savior of yesterday’s game, and Nunez has been hitting out of his mind so far this season. Right now, Nunez is batting .331/.367/.492 with an OPS of .859. That’s pretty darn good especially considering the fact that’s been playing every day for the last month. He would be in 5th place in the American League for batting average (He’s nearly had enough plate appearances to qualify). With Joe Mauer’s decline in the past couple weeks, Nunez is this team’s best hitter by a wide margin.
I would guess that in a month or so, Nunez’s numbers will come back down to earth. However, with baseball being so unpredictable, who knows what will happen and when it will happen. So maybe Nunez will compete for the AL batting title. It could happen!
5: Jose Bautista
Dear Phil Hughes and relievers who might pitch tonight, Please don’t throw any pitches that Bautista can hit. I don’t care if you walk him 4 times, just please don’t give him another home run.