Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
(To clarify, I say "may start" because it hasn't been officially announced.)
It is being reported that both Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence will be called up from Triple A Buffalo to fill in for JA Happ and Aaron Sanchez for the weekend series in Anaheim. This, according to Joel Sherman on Twitter -
It's not going to ease the worries of those that have been in full-blown panic mode with the Jays, but this is why the team has Latos and Lawrence; to fill-in during situations such as these. Granted, their numbers aren't anything to write home about, so I understand how having to watch them start this weekend will compound the negativity that is already lingering amongst the fanbase. It sucks, but that's the breaks.
However, it's not as though these moves lack any strategy. The Angels consist of a right-handed heavy lineup, so bringing up Latos and Lawrence makes the most sense as they are right-handed pitchers. However, the move to bring Latos up is a bit trickier, as he isn't currently on the 40-Man roster, so the Jays will have to make a corresponding move - consequently DFA'ng a player or extending one of the injured ones to the 60-Day DL. I don't even want to begin to speculate which will happen because... well, I'm not qualified and - let's face it - I'll probably be wrong.
The sample for both pitchers, in terms of their time in Buffalo thus far is obviously quite small. Latos has appeared in two games - both of which resulted in no-decisions - with an ERA of 1.00 over 9 innings pitched, giving up 7 hits, 3 runs (1 of which was earned), 9 K's, and 6 walks. Not terrible when you completely ignore that A) it's just two games, B) it's Triple A, and C) both.
Lawrence's numbers are equally as deceptive. He's has pitched two games - both of which resulted in no-decisions - with an ERA of 1.80, over the course of 5 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 HR, 7 K's, and 0 walks. During his brief appearance with the Jays earlier this month, it wasn't pretty. Lawrence gave up 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 K's, 5 walks (two of which were intentional, in fairness), over 2 innings of relief. He ended up picking up the loss in his debut outing, by walking in the winning run with the bases loaded against the Rays. Not the way you want to debut, ideally, but hopefully he can put it behind him and take advantage of the opportunity.
Look, I'll be the first to admit that this will more than likely be painful to watch. Latos had a not-so-great Spring Training (to put it mildly), and we all kept our fingers crossed in hopes that the starting rotation would avoid the injury bug. But these things tend to happen in baseball and, more than likely, the Jays weren't going to be so lucky. Last year was a blessing, really, as they had a total of 7 pitchers making starts for the team (Stroman, Sanchez, Estrada, Happ, Dickey, Hutchinson, & Liriano) throughout the entire season. The Jays will meet that number within the first month of this season already. It's sort of unreasonable to believe that they'd remain that lucky this year; especially with how things are going. That whole "When it rains..." thing.
But, who knows?! Maybe Latos will be a pleasant surprise!
Either way, we hope that Happ and Sanchez can recover quickly and the Jays can start playing the way we know they're capable of. I mean, again, they only lost by 1 run last night, putting up 7 total. It is what it is, I suppose. Hopefully they're starting to turn the corner. Moreover, if they're able to limit the appearances of Latos and Lawrence to just this weekend, then I suppose it's something I can roll with.
Deep breaths, guys. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
Get all Zen-like. You'll need it.
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