The Toronto Blue Jays still have a deep and talented rotation, and manager Charlie Montoyo plans to use that to his advantage in the final weeks of the season.
Rookie right-hander Alek Manoah is scheduled to take his turn on the mound Wednesday night when the Blue Jays play the Los Angeles Angels in the third game of their four-game series in Anaheim, Calif.
Toronto split a doubleheader with Los Angeles on Tuesday.
After the Blue Jays allowed six two-out runs in a 6-3 loss in the first game, four Toronto pitchers combined to shut out the Angels on three hits in a 4-0 victory in the nightcap.
It was Toronto’s sixth shutout since the All-Star break, though four have come in seven-inning games.
The news wasn’t all bright coming out of the second game, however.
Ross Stripling left after two innings because of a strained oblique, which will likely sideline him for his next start, at the minimum.
Still, the Blue Jays shouldn’t have to scramble to replace him, as Montoyo still has a handful of others he can turn to with confidence.
“That’s huge,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re playing good baseball, because we have the chance to win every day.”
Manoah, the 11th overall pick in the 2019 draft, made his major league debut in Yankee Stadium on May 27 and threw six shutout innings in a 2-0, seven-inning win.
Monoah (4-1, 2.58 ERA) has continued to put up solid numbers, and Montoyo hasn’t hesitated to send him to the mound once a week.
Gone are the days when Montoyo had to get creative with who started games.
“That’s a smart thing that baseball did, using openers and stuff, but when you have five, six good starters, you don’t need an opener,” Montoyo said. “That’s what we’ve got going right now, which is great.”
Angels starter Dylan Bundy will be trying to build off his best performance of the season.
Bundy (2-8, 6.14 ERA) threw 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 5-0 road win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
“Anytime you make it that deep in the game and don’t allow any runs, it’s going to boost your confidence,” Bundy said.
It was Bundy’s second outing following his return to the rotation. He was demoted to the bullpen in late June but took the opportunity to tweak his delivery.
Bundy was hesitant to make such important changes to his technique in the middle of the season, but he didn’t have much choice.
“When you’re trying to create a whole new arm stroke and path on the back side, and trying to do that in the middle of a season and get major league hitters out? But I had to change something,” Bundy said. “So, here we go.”
Bundy had good career numbers against the Rangers before he went out and beat them last week. He has pitched well against the Blue Jays in his career as well, owning a 5-3 mark in 15 career appearances (11 starts) with a 3.07 ERA.
Manoah will be pitching against the Angels for the first time.
–Field Level Media