Bowden Francis showcased why he’s a leading candidate for the last rotation spot, Chris Bassitt made his first start of Spring Training, and more!

Photo credit:David Reginek
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Another day, another loss, but this game was a lot more fun, so that’s got to count for something.
On Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jays hosted Atlanta in Dunedin, falling to the 2021 World Series Champions 6-2, bringing their Spring Training record to 2-6. Let’s look at the positives.

Things worth mentioning…

Bowden Francis looks like a dude. He finished with a line of 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, with a fastball that touched 97.1 mph, and featured the splitter six times, including generating a whiff for a strikeout. The curveball generated three whiffs on eight total swings, while he only threw the slider four times, but averaged 85.8 mph on it and touched 87.1 mph.
It’s all very encouraging for Francis, as he’s arguably the leading candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, especially with Alek Manoah’s minor shoulder injury. Time will tell how well Francis can do as a starter, but he’s got the stuff to be an effective starter.
Chris Bassitt made his first start of Spring Training, and it didn’t go great. He finished with a line of 3 IP, 3 H , 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K while being tagged with the loss. If you can recall, he also had a rough 2023 Spring Training, but figured it out in season and had a good first year with the Jays. The sinker averaged 91 mph, just one mph lower than his season average in 2023.
Brendon Little, a left-handed pitcher the Jays picked up at the end of the 2023 season and added to the 40-man roster, had a rough outing on Saturday. He gave up three earned runs in two thirds of an innings pitched. Moreover, he walked three guys and struck out two, not a great look. However, his cutter generated this strikeout, which is an encouraging sign.
The Blue Jays only had six hits, but did pick up three doubles. Interestingly, all three doubles were hit by catchers, as Danny Jansen, Zach Britton, and Andres Sosa all picked up two bags. Garrett Spain, Kevin Kiermaier, and Bo Bichette all had singles, but they went 1-7 with runners in scoring position.
Toronto is back in action on Sunday, as they’ll head to Little Fenway Park to face off against the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 PM. With Alek Manoah being removed from his start, it’s expected that Paolo Espino will get the ball to start the game.
Hopefully, they can start winning some games here soon!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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