Series Preview: Who are these kids?

After what was a forgettable series against the big-bad Red Sox, the Blue Jays are welcoming in a couple of new kids who grew up die-hard fans of the boys in blue. Canadians Cal Quantrill and Josh Naylor will make their homecoming debuts during this three-game series in “The Six.”

The Blue Jays will also be calling-up one of their top-prospects as well for this series. No. 9 of the top-30 prospects within the Blue Jays minor-league system, Cavan Biggio will be added to the active roster ahead of this series. Now while I believe this just to be a move made out of necessity, the Blue Jays clearly need additional offensive-support and Biggio will likely provide that positioned in either the outfield or infield.

Friday at 7:07 ET

Trent Thornton has really found his stride this month with the Blue Jays. After struggling for the majority of April, Thornton has now been able to put together quality starts in three out of his four starts this month. Thornton will now be looking to earn his 2nd-win at the major-league level against the new-look Padres.

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Despite their reputation, Thornton actually matches-up very well against the Padres. This lineup from the city that never experiences bad weather, currently ranks 2nd in the NL in strikeouts and 2nd-worst in walks as well. Which means Thornton should be able to create a lot of swing and misses with his wipe-out curveball. The 25-year-old has recorded four or more strikeouts and two or fewer walks in three of his four starts this month. So this should provide Thornton with a great opportunity to record three quality starts in a row for the first-time in his career.

Joey Lucchesi will be taking the ball for the Padres in game one of this series. The 25-year-old’s season so far is best described as a roller coaster. Lucchesi didn’t allow a single run through his first two starts to the season. But he was then pounded for 17 runs over his next four starts to end the month of April.

However, his roller coaster season has now started to ascend upwards ever since the start of May. Through his three starts this month, Lucchesi is pitching with a 3.12 ERA, 0.923 WHIP along with 12 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched. Opposing batters are also hitting just .203 against Lucchesi this month as well. So this could be a very tough match-up for this Blue Jays lineup, given the fact that they rank last in the AL in hits for this month.

Saturday at 3:07 ET

Edwin Jackson will make his 3rd-start with the Blue Jays in game two of this series. The man who was nearly drafted during the same year I was born, got smacked around by the defending-champions in his last outing. Jackson pitched five innings for the second-straight time, but gave up seven hits and six runs(five earned) and a lone walk.

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A rough outing was expected in Jackson’s latest outing against the Red Sox. They’re still one of the best-offenses in the entire league. So it was actually quite respectable that Jackson was able pitch through five innings before being chased out of the game. While the Padres do have a power-hitting offense like the Red Sox, they’re basically a boom or bust lineup. Which means Jackson should be able to give his team a better opportunity to win this game compared to his latest start.

Cal Quantrill will make his debut in his home-country in game two of this series. Quantrill grew up approximately two hours east from Toronto in his home-town of Port Hope. The son of former MLB-player Paul Quantrill, will finally be able to pitch at the same park that his dad played six-straight seasons at.

Quantrill made his MLB-debut at the start of this month, but it hasn’t gone as smoothly as the 24-year-old would have liked. Through his three starts this month, Quantrill has surrendered 21 hits, nine runs and five walks in just 15 innings pitched. Accuracy is something that the home-town pitcher struggles a lot with, as he threw 102 pitches in just five innings in his last start. So the Blue Jays will need to force a lot of deep counts in this game, in order to be successful against the son of the former fan-favorite who called the Blue Jays home for so many seasons.

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Sunday at 1:07 ET

The latest episode of the Stro-Show was very impressive against the Red Sox. Stroman was able to earn his 2nd-win of the season, and he FINALLY got support from his offense. After averaging just 2.2 runs of support/game, the Blue Jays supplied the heart and soul of this team with a total of ten runs of support. Thankfully, he’s no longer at the bottom of the rankings in the league for average runs support per game. With those ten runs of support, Stroman is now averaging 2.9 runs of support/game.

In Stroman’s last start against the Red Sox, he did surrender a season-high in walks with six. However, this start against the Padres should provide him with a fantastic opportunity to improve off of that number. Especially, with the way this Padres lineup has shown that they’re unable to stay patient at the plate. As they currently rank 4th-worst in the NL for the amount of total pitches during at-bats this season.

Chris Paddack is a name most-people probably haven’t ever heard of. Which is understandable given he pitches for a team that plays on the west coast. But Paddack is a name to remember, as he’s currently pitching as one of the best-young pitchers in the entire league.

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The 23-year-old currently ranks 2nd in the NL in ERA, as well as ranking 1st throughout the NL in opponents BA. Paddack hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in a single game in any of his nine starts this season. He has also recorded five or more strikeouts in seven of those nine starts. So for a team like the Blue Jays who have scored the 2nd-fewest amount of runs this month, they will likely find it tough sledding against one of the best young pitchers in the league.