The Tampa Bay Rays got a strong pitching performance from Ryan Stanek and the bullpen. Tyler Glasnow, who was pitching well before getting injured, has been out since early May, but is progressing well. Glasnow and Blake Snell were a terrific 1-2 punch in the rotation and they hope to have Glasnow back and healthy soon.
The original timeline was 4-6 weeks, so the Rays were fortunate that it wasn’t anything more serious. They don’t have tremendous depth in their rotation, but have been reverting back to their pitcher-by-committee system from last season with Glasnow out. Stanek pitched just 2 innings yesterday before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Ryan Yarbrough saw the bulk of the work with 3.2 innings on the mound. Diego Castillo was the only Tampa pitcher to allow a run against the Blue Jays.
The win was the Rays’ fourth in a row, while the Blue Jays are sliding with their sixth loss in even games. Slumps are going to be common when you’re a team like the Jays. They are in rebuilding mode despite Vlad. Jr getting the call up to the major leagues. Guerrero has found life in the big leagues a little more difficult than the minors, but he has showcased why he is expected to be the centrepiece of this club. You have to keep in mind that he is still only a 20-year-old and has a lot of room to grow.
The Rays are in win now mode, as they’ve been doing a good job keeping up with the Yankees in the AL East. The Yankees have been playing solid baseball this season, but whenever they look in their rear-view mirror, the Rays are always right behind them ready to pounce. When the Yankees get their health back to form, it’s going to be awfully difficult for any team in the division to play keep up with the Yankees. However, the Rays look like a strong candidate for a wildcard if they fail to win the AL East. Blake Snell will get the call on Wednesday against the Jays. Rookie Trent Thornton is expected to counter for the Jays. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Rays pick.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick:
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Trent Thornton has been making the most out of his opportunity in the starting rotation. The 25-year-old has been up with the Blue Jays from the start this season, as he was able to earn the spot in spring training. His production levels in the regular season have been pretty much in line with what he did then. Thornton finished with a 4.80 ERA in spring training and currently owns an ERA of 4.42 going into Tampa. Wins have been tough to come by for Thornton, who is still looking for his second of the season.
Thornton is coming off a 6-3 loss against the Padres. He gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in 6 innings. He was tagged for 3 walks and 2 long balls as well. Although, Thornton was able to set a career-high with 10 strikeouts. It was the first double-digit strikeout game of his young career. He seems to be on a pretty good path for a young pitcher.
A 4.42 ERA is fairly typical for a rookie pitcher. It is what he does next season and in his third season which is most important. His best start of the season was against the Rangers, as he went 7 innings allowing only 1 hit and no runs.
From the looks of it, Thornton might need a similar start for the Jays to find a win in this one. Snell has been almost perfect in his outings against Toronto. The Jays are hitting .145 against Snell with just 2 RBI’s in 62 at-bats. Thornton had trouble against the Rays in his first appearance against them.
Tampa got to him for 8 hits and 5 runs in 3 innings of play. He also allowed 3 home runs for a brutal day at the office. The Rays hit .471 with a .526 OBP against Thornton in 16 at-bats. Rookies have their ups and downs, and that was one of those days for him as he learns the ropes. I don’t see today being like that, but I still see a lot of work in front of him to try and match Snell. A 6-3 or 5-2 win for the Rays looks is a likely scenario here, so the runline on the Rays looks like a good option Wednesday.