GDB 16.0: After Yariel Rodriguez’ excellent start, Toronto Blue Jays seek series win over Rockies

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
13 days ago
It was just yesterday that we sat here talking about the Toronto Blue Jays’ pitching woes.
And today… those feel solved?
Okay maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but Yariel Rodriguez’ Saturday start against the Rockies where he threw three and two-thirds innings, fanning six batters and allowing just one earned run brought forth a lot of promise. There wasn’t quite any telling where he was going to fit in with the Jays pitching staff when he signed.
Yes, there was a belief that he could be a starter, but he was also considered somebody who could fill in as a long-reliever. If anything, his sparkling start might secure the fact that he can be a starter for this team when they so desperately need another in the back end of the rotation.
While his pitch mix remained mostly limited to his four-seam fastball and slider, of which he threw 47.1 percent and 36.8 percent of his pitches, respectively, he utilized some tactics on the mound that helped mix up Rockies batter. You could see the influence his experience in Cuban and Japanese baseball had, especially in his wind-up and release, often taking a pause at the top that caught batters confused.
It’s hard to imagine the Jays not giving him another start after that performance, and for as promising as it was, other teams now have MLB film on him. The competition will only get tougher for him moving forward.
But before the Jays get there, they have unfinished business to take care of Sunday afternoon as they look to secure a series win over Colorado. Jose Berrios will take the mound, as Justin Turner, Ernie Clement and Alejandro Kirk draw back into the lineup.

First pitch: 3:37 p.m. EST. TV & Radio: Sportsnet.
Weather: N/A

Starting pitchers:

José BerríosTOR32018.21.455.64373.941.126.752.41
Kyle FreelandCOL30210.216.038.473247.752.915.065.06


  1. G Springer (R) RF
  2. V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
  3. B Bichette (R) SS
  4. J Turner (R) DH
  5. D Schneider (R) LF
  6. E Clement (R) 3B
  7. A Kirk (R) C
  8. I Kiner-Falefa (R) 2B
  9. K Kiermaier (L) CF
  1. C Blackmon (L) RF
  2. E Tovar (R) SS
  3. R McMahon (L) 3B
  4. E Díaz (R) DH
  5. N Jones (L) LF
  6. B Doyle (R) CF
  7. B Rodgers (R) 2B
  8. E Montero (R) 1B
  9. J Stallings (R) C

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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