TOR

Series beginning
08/13/2021

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are once again the Toronto Blue Jays, having been cleared to resume playing at home in Canada as of July 30th. But this weekend they're here in Seattle, and with pandemic-related border issues still in play we likely won't see the same sort of Canadian Invasion we've gotten used to then the Jays come to town (attendance projection for Friday's opener is under 30,000). Still, it should be a fun time at the ballpark, eh.

In the bunched-up American League East, the Jays find themselves 7½ back of first-place Tampa Bay but just 2½ back of Boston for the second Wild Card slot. At 10 games over .500, Toronto is coming off a pair of series splits, having won two of four against both Boston and the Angels. When the Mariners saw them earlier in the year, at their temporary home away from home in Buffalo, the M's won two of three.

Toronto's offense is led by the All-Star MVP, Vlad Guerrero Jr. Though slumping of late, Vladdy already has a whopping 35 homers to his credit along with 88 runs batted in, and he's no one-trick pony. Unlike his dad, Vlad Jr. is patient at the plate and takes his walks, plus has been seen legging out a triple and stealing the occasional bag. That 1.000+ OPS is no illusion. Vladdy is supported by fellow All-Stars Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, and Teoscar Hernández as well as the newly resurgent George Springer. Since the All-Star break, the former Astro has gone on a tear, batting .350 with 11 longballs since July 18th. It's a potent lineup with few holes and Seattle pitchers have their work cut out for them.

Scheduled starting pitchers Robbie Ray, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Steven Matz each saw the M's back in Buffalo, with Ray getting a victory, Ryu a loss, and Matz a no-decision; Ray's was a 10-strikeout Quality Start, but the M's lit up Ryu and Matz both, scoring 9 runs over a combined 623 innings against them. Getting past them and into the bullpen doesn't take any pressure off, though, as Toronto's relief corps, anchored by closer Jordan Romano, is solid all around.

Splits

Last ten 7-3
Away 31-28
vs. LHP 15-16
vs. RHP 47-36
One-run games 8-13
vs. AL West 12-14
vs. Mariners 1-2

Who’s Hot & Not

Last 10 games

Marcus Semien
.294/.390/.588, 8 XBH, 3 RBI

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
.313/.353/.688, 6 XBH, 7 RBI

Teoscar Hernández
.400/.400/.514, 2 XBH, 12 RBI

George Springer
.282/.349/.718, 8 XBH, 11 RBI

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
.184/.279/.289, 11 Ks

Santiago Espinal
.143/.217/.143, 5 Ks

Last 3 series vs. Seattle

7/1/21 SEA 7, TOR 2
6/30/21 SEA 9, TOR 7
6/29/21 TOR 9, SEA 3
8/25/19 SEA 3, TOR 1
8/24/19 TOR 7, SEA 5
8/23/19 SEA 7, TOR 4
8/18/19 SEA 7, TOR 0
8/17/19 SEA 4, TOR 3
8/16/19 TOR 7, SEA 3

Manager

montoyo

Charlie Montoyo: A longtime minor-league skipper, this is Montoyo's first managerial gig in the Majors. Now in his third year helming the Jays, Montoyo had spent the previous four seasons on Kevin Cash's coaching staff in Tampa Bay; before that, he led seven squads at various levels of the minors for the Rays' organization, including a long and successful run with the Triple-A Durham Bulls for which he was honored with a spot in the International League Hall of Fame.

Montoyo had a brief career as a player, drafted out of Puerto Rico by the Brewers and eventually getting to the bigs as a Montréal Expo in 1993 as a September callup (he was 2-for-5). The ex-infielder can often be heard in his office playing his bongo drums, a gift from his wife that lets him enjoy his own renditions of salsa beats. Left at home are his congas, claves, maracas, and timbales.

Familiar Face

Injured pitchers: No active Blue Jay has ever played for Seattle, but two of their injured relievers have—David Phelps was a Mariner for a few games in 2017 after a trade from the Miami Marlins; and Carl Edwards Jr. started last season in the Seattle bullpen and was great (1.93 ERA in five appearances) until the oft-injured right-hander went down with a flexor strain and never returned. Edwards barely exceeded the innings he threw with the M's before going down again as a Blue Jay, this time with an oblique strain. Another ex-M, Tommy Milone, was DFA'd by the Blue Jays earlier this month.

Franchise History

Toronto Blue Jays(1977 - present)
 
World Champions:1992, 1993
Division Titles:1985, 1989, 1991, 2015

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