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Opponent Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto battles their Northern neighbors

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After a quick sweep of good ol’ Gardy and his kittens Tigers, one of our many southern neighbors is coming to town. The Toronto Blue Jays have made the trip to Target Field for a four-game series.

Last year, the Jays finished well below .500, with 93 losses (just wait until you hear how many losses our next opponent had). The league’s Canadian squad is squarely in rebuild mode, having traded away big-name players like Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki last season, and losing pitcher Marco Estrada in free agency. They fired manager John Gibbons and replaced him with first-timer Charlie Montoyo. They did not make any other notable additions in the off-season, and are looking another long season in the top-heavy AL East square in the face.

Hailing from the downright tropical latitude of 43.70 degrees N, the squad is only 5-11 (after yesterday) and have not yet won a series. Let’s hope that the Twins can continue that unfortunate streak.

Blue Jays Roster

Jays Roster

Player Position
Player Position
Marcus Stroman SP
Matt Shoemaker SP
Aaron Sanchez SP
Trent Thornton SP
Clay Buchholz SP
Joe Biagini RP
Sam Gaviglio RP
Ken Giles RP
Javy Guerra RP
Daniel Hudson RP
Elvis Luciano RP
Tim Mayza RP
Thomas Pannone RP
Danny Jansen C
Luke Maile C
Justin Smoak 1B
Eric Sogard 2B
Freddy Galvis SS
Brendon Drury 3B
Alen Hansen INF
Rowdy Tellez INF
Billy McKinney RF
Randal Grichuk CF
Teoscar Hernandez LF
Socrates Brito OF

While the Jays do boast a bona fide ace starter in Marcus Stroman, the rest of the rotation is largely unproven (or over the hill). Ken Giles is a decent arm in the bullpen, but the rest of the ‘pen is aggressively unimpressive. The biggest threats in their lineup are Justin Smoak, Freddy Galvis, and Randal Grichuk, and I’m sure none of us here are surprised that they have only managed five wins so far.

While the Minnesota nine have been off to a hot start, yesterday proves that nothing is a given in baseball. The Twins will attempt to get back to their winning ways today and keep building on their early success. While it is not impressive to beat bad teams, there is something to be said for winning games that a team ought to. If the Twins want to hang with the Indians all season, they will have to take advantage of stretches like this one, with the lowly Jays here now and the even more lowly Orioles coming to town next.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, April 16th, 6:40 PM CDT

Kyle Gibson vs. Aaron Sanchez

Wednesday, April 17th, 6:40 PM CDT

Jake Odorizzi vs. Trent Thornton

Thursday, April 18th, 12:10 PM CDT

Michael Pineda vs. Clay Buchholz