On Friday, the Rays head north of the border to face off with their divisional foes, Toronto for the first time in the 2019 season. The Rays will use Ryne Stanek in his classic Opener role on Friday with Yonny Chirinos and Ryan Yarbrough the potential arms to follow.
The Jays started the season 2-1, but they have quickly stumbled since, losing eight of their last 10, most recently splitting a series in Boston in which they had the Sawks on the ropes in game two before blowing a 5-0 lead.
The Jays don’t have much to look forward to this season outside of the promotion of a few prospects who aren’t as good as Wander Franco (troll level: infinite), so they’ll look to be in spoiler mode all season. If the Rays are going to contend with the big dogs of the east, this is a series the Rays need to take two out of three from, if not sweep.
The Jays will go with Trent Thornton on Friday, who has a 1.69/2.07/2.42 ERA/FIP/xFIP line early this season, but that is due in large part to having faced the Detroit Tigers (66 wRC+) and Cleveland Professional Baseball Team (55 wRC+) in his two starts. His 15:2 K:BB is quite nice, but this is still a guy who posted a 4.42/4.01/3.93 line at Triple-A last season and hasn’t appeared on any top prospect lists before. He certainly could be a hidden gem, but let’s see a few more starts before we start stressing too much. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.
- Starting Pitching Thrives on the Team That Created the Opener — The Opener gets the New York Times treatment. Bless up.
- What is behind the Rays’ fast start — We covered the Rays fast start at DRB here yesterday, but 10-3 inevitably gets everybody talking.
- ‘This organization is a really, really special place’: A conversation with Rays senior VP Chaim Bloom — Let the good times roll; let the good. times. roll. Let em roll, yeah.
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Around the League
- Yankees exec Jean Afterman wants to see a team hire MLB’s first female GM. She’d just rather it not be her — The Rays are a perpetual leader in on-field innovation, maybe they can move that innovation to off the field as well?
- How Alex Colome developed the pitch his career depends on — James Fegan is one of the best baseball writers The Athletic has to offer. It’s a bummer he writers about the White Sox, but here’s a relevant piece on an (e)X-Ray.
- Stark: Are MLB managers becoming obsolete? — Tell me, Jayson, tell me!
- Getting Mike Trout to a 15-WAR season — I’ve been very impressed with the new cadre of writers Meg Rowley brought into FanGraphs for the 2019 season, and this is a fun article.