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The Blue Jays (Sort of) Played a Game Today: Notes on Liriano’s Excellence, Donaldson’s Return, and More

^ That’s me (and you!) looking at MLB.com’s Live Game Tracker as Francisco Liriano dominates the world in Grapefruit League.

  • Fransisco Liriano, holy shit! Holy fuck! The dude who the Jays acquired in a swap for Drew Hutchison last summer — that also featured a couple of solid prospects coming back Toronto’s way for the handling fee lololol — was having a damn good spring, posting eight strikeouts through just five innings of work. Today, though, he figured he would turn up the heat, and make a complete fool of the Minnesota Twins actual Major League squad. Why send your top prospect into oblivion for Chris Sale when you can get the idiot Pittsburgh Pirates to give you Francisco Liriano AND sweeteners for next to nothing?!
  • It wasn’t on TV, and it was a damn shame we could only listen to it, but Liriano dominated the Twins lineup that featured people who you know for a fact actually exist, like Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, and former Blue Jay Matt Hague. He faced 17 batters over four-and-two-thirds innings and struck 10 of them out, allowing four hits, a walk, and a two-run homer before reaching his pitch limit. Ten. Fucking. Strikeouts. Against real MLB hitters! The Blue Jays rotation gives a lot to be excited about, but Liriano working with his former battery mate Russell Martin for an entire season? Sign me up!
  • Josh Donaldson made his first appearance of the spring as the DH today, and, though we couldn’t actually see it, apparently he had his umpire stare down in mid-season form, as he was called out on a questionable (???) strike. Anyways, Donaldson didn’t make it rain, or anything, going 0-for-2 with a walk, but it’s good to see him playing, nonetheless.
  • Speaking of injured guys, Devon Travis went 0-for-2 with a couple groundouts in a minor league game today,” Arden Zwelling said on Twitter. “He played four innings at second base and says he felt good. Travis will play second base in a minor league game again on Wednesday. Blue Jays plan is to have him in a major league game on Friday.”
  • Those are all good signs! Not very long ago, we were expected Travis would miss the beginning of the season, and, based how his seemingly-minor-but-always-major injuries have gone in the past, we all worried he would miss significant time. Nothing is certain yet, of course, but it seems Travis, knock on goddamn wood please, will be ready to open the season. That’s bad news for Ryan Goins, though, as he’ll likely be put on waivers unless the Jays can find a way to stash him on some random disabled league stint.
  • I can’t stop thinking about Liriano’s ten strikeouts, holy fuck. Liriano for Hutchison is definitely going to become a go-to joke on The Twitter this year.
  • Justin Smoak (!!!) and Ryan McBroom both clubbed solo homers in the eighth inning, but otherwise the Jays were completely shut down by Twins pitching. Also, Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes both had clean innings.
  • Uhhhhhhh. Beyond that, today’s game was kind of a disaster! Tim Mayza got lit up, allowing two runs on three hits in his inning, then Aaron Loup, his competition for the Jays second lefty role, came in and did even worse, allowing three runs without recording an out. But Liriano, though!