The Blue Jays have a day off today, so let’s take a look around the American League.
The big story today is that the Boston Red Sox have multiple unvaccinated players who won’t be able to join the team as they travel to Toronto next week. As of right now, the only one we know about is pitcher Tanner Houck, who would have been lined up to start next Tuesday for the Red Sox in Toronto.
Cora was asked after an 8-1 win over Minnesota on Sunday if he expected to be missing other players.
“Yeah,” Cora said. He was not asked a follow-up question and then ended the press conference.
Asked earlier about Houck, Cora said: “We knew it beforehand, so we’ll plan accordingly.”
Tanner Houck tells the Globe that he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19. Because of Canada’s vaccine mandate, Houck won’t be able to pitch next Tuesday in Toronto.
“I think it’s a personal choice for everyone whether they get it or not,” Houck said
— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) April 17, 2022
As an aside, the language here is yet another example of the disingenuous way that the Canada-U.S. border situation is being reported on. It’s always “Canada’s laws are making it so this guy can’t enter the country,” when, in reality, the United States has the same rules when it comes to those who are unvaccinated crossing their border. While this as framed as an advantage to the Blue Jays, they’re still up against the same obstacle, and they’ve had to consider vaccine status when putting together their roster.
Anyways! We know Houck, who has a 3.00 ERA over two starts this season, won’t be joining the Sox in Toronto, but we don’t know who else will be staying behind. But before we get there, we have a three-game series in Boston with the Red Sox to think about.
Yusei Kikuchi will go up against Nate Eovaldi in the opener on Tuesday, Jose Berrios will face Canadian Nick Pivetta on Wednesday, and Kevin Gausman will go up against Houck in the finale on Thursday.
Another thing to keep an eye on is this, as the Red Sox had one player and two staff members test positive for COVID-19 on Monday…
Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki – who is vaccinated – and two team staff members tested positive for COVID
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) April 18, 2022
With a loss to the Twins on Monday, the Sox sit 5-5 on the season, tied with both the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, while the Blue Jays lead the American League East with a 6-4 record. The last time the Blue Jays sat alone in first place in the division was all the way back in early September of 2016.
The other big story on Monday is that New York is in full-on meltdown mode. The Yankees started off their season strong with a pair of wins over Boston and then they took two of four in a competitive series in The Bronx with the Blue Jays. After that, they went to Baltimore and lost two of three, continuing a hilarious trend in which they inexplicably struggle with the Orioles.
The Friday game featured Aroldis Chapman issuing a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th inning and then Sunday’s game featured the Yankees getting shut out in a start made by Bruce Zimmermann, who had a 5.04 ERA last season. New York only scored six runs across three games in this series and four of them came in a fifth-inning rally on Saturday.
Do you realize that since Sept. 1, 2020 the #Redsox, #Rays and #Bluejays have clobbered the #Orioles, 53-15?
The #Yankees, on the other hand, have failed to take advantage; going only 16-13 vs. the #Orioles, losing two of three games this weekend.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 18, 2022
Also, if you’re into this sort of thing, Major League Baseball has the Blue Jays at No. 2 on their first power ranking of the season, behind only the L.A. Dodgers…
It's the first power rankings of the regular season!
— MLB (@MLB) April 18, 2022