Game Threat: Jays (56-44) vs. Padres (43-57)

Melvin Upton
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Melvin Upton Jr. era begins!

Um… with the newest member of the Blue Jays on the bench.

Which, given that the club isn’t facing a left-handed pitcher, probably makes sense. John Gibbons has said that Melvin — formerly known as “Bossman Junior” — will mostly supplant Justin Smoak against left-handers, while also giving Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista some days off or at DH, and playing in the outfield in late game situations. He’ll play against his former team tomorrow, apparently, with Jose Bautista sliding to DH.

So… cool?

Meanwhile, it looks like Andrew Cashner is going to make his scheduled start against the Jays tonight — and presumably will show us all why the Jays didn’t make it a package deal when they picked up Upton.

He’s going to be bad, is what I’m saying. But in his defence, who isn’t going to be bad against this lineup, really? (I mean, he’s been outstanding in his last couple of starts, but so what? That is, unless we’re about to trade for him, too — in which case, maybe it’s alright to not pretend he’s going to get shitcanned here? Meh.)

Scuttlebutt

Upton met with the local media today, telling them that he’s simply in a better place, mentally, than he was during his tough tenure in Atlanta. “Other than that, there’s really no method to the madness,” he said, referring to the fact that he stopped sucking soon after arriving in San Diego.

Ryan Tepera has been optioned back to Buffalo in order to clear room on the Jays’ active roster for Upton.

TV: Sportsnet
Next Game(s): Wednesday vs. San Diego, 12:37 PM ET
AL East Standings: BAL (-), BOS (2.5), TOR (3.0), NYY (7.5), TBR (20.0)
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista(R) RF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Edwin Encarnacion(R) DH
Michael Saunders(L) LF
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Russell Martin(R) C
Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Justin Smoak(S) 1B
Devon Travis(R) 2B
Marcus Stroman RHP

San Diego Padres

Travis Jankowski(L) CF
Wil Myers(R) 1B
Matt Kemp(R) RF
Yangervis Solarte(S) 3B
Alex Dickerson(L) LF
Ryan Schimpf(L) 2B
Alexei Ramirez(R) SS
Brett Wallace(L) DH
Derek Norris(R) C
Andrew Cashner RHP