News and Notes: Yankees recall former Blue Jay as Aaron Judge goes on IL, Chris Bassitt talks about being pulled, and more

Cam Lewis
10 months ago
Since Alek Manoah’s meltdown on Monday, the Blue Jays have received back-to-back excellent outings from two of their veteran starters.
Kevin Gausman took the mound on Tuesday and allowed only one earned run over seven innings of work while matching a career-high with 13 strikeouts. Chris Bassitt followed that up on Wednesday by plowing through the Astros for eight innings while having to throw only 81 pitches.
It was a little bit of a surprise to see Bassitt pulled in favour of Jordan Romano for the ninth inning when his second complete game of the season was within reach. Romano allowed a leadoff double to Mauricio Dubon and then got through the meat of Houston’s order to earn his 16th save of the season as the Blue Jays won by a score of 3-2.
After the game, Bassitt showed no concern about being pulled ahead of the ninth inning…
“If you know me at all, I’ll fight analytics ’til I die,” Bassitt said. “But I knew I had to face [Yordan] Alvarez in the ninth … I’m not sure if you know my numbers against him, but they’re not good.”
Bassitt has gone up against Alvarez 16 times in his career and Houston’s big lefty has drilled four home runs in those plate appearances. It would have been Bassitt’s fourth time facing the top of the Astros’ order, so the decision by John Schneider to go to Romano in a one-run game made sense.
The Blue Jays will send José Berríos to the mound on Wednesday as they look to win not only this series with the Astros but the season series between the two teams as well. This game could have significant implications down the road as the Blue Jays and Astros are separated by a game-and-a-half in the American League Wild Card race and the season series will be used as the first tiebreaker if two teams finish with the same record.
Berríos has a 2.48 ERA across 61 2/3 innings in his last 10 outings. He allowed just two earned runs over seven innings of work against the Astros in Houston back in April.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees place Aaron Judge on Injured List and recall Billy McKinney from Triple-A

Aaron Judge has landed on the 10-day Injured List with a sprain of the big toe on his right foot. The injury occurred when he made a catch in the eighth inning of New York’s game with the L.A. Dodgers on Sunday and subsequently crashed through the outfield wall.
Last year’s American League MVP is having another huge season for the Yankees. Through 213 plate appearances, Judge leads the league with 19 home runs and he’s slashing a .291/.404/.674 line. There’s no word on how long New York’s $360-million man will be out of the lineup as foot injuries are very difficult to project.
Coming up from in Judge’s absence is former top prospect Billy McKinney, who will be appearing with the Yankees for the first time since he was traded to the Blue Jays during the 2018 season.
McKinney was selected by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the 2013 draft and was involved in two major trades before he reached the big-league level. He was part of the deal that sent Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs to Oakland in 2014 and he was moved to the Yankees in 2016 when Chicago acquired Aroldis Chapman.
He cracked the Yankees’ Opening Day roster in 2018 and went 1-for-4 over a couple of games before being sent down to the minors. A few months later, McKinney and Brandon Drury were traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for J.A. Happ.
McKinney slashed a /252/.320/.470 line with the Blue Jays the rest of the way that season but couldn’t find the same level of success at the plate in 2019. The Blue Jays designated McKinney for assignment during the 2020 season and he was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Since then, McKinney has spent time with the Mets, Dodgers, Rangers, and A’s, and now he’s back with the Yankees.

None of the teams in the American League Central have a record over .500 right now

Randy Arozarena smashed a solo home run off of Jhoan Duran as the Tampa Bay Rays walked off the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night. The loss was Minnesota’s fourth in a row and it puts them at 31-31 on the season.
The Twins have the eighth-best record in the American League, sandwiched between the L.A. Angels and the Boston Red Sox, but they’re comfortably in a playoff spot because they play in baseball’s worst division. The Cleveland Guardians are in second in the AL Central with a 27-33 record, the Detroit Tigers are third at 26-33, the Chicago White Sox are fourth at 27-35, and the Kansas City Royals are in last at 18-44.
The Blue Jays will host the Twins for a three-game series over the weekend. There’s a chance that all of the teams in the AL Central are below .500 on Monday.


Check out these posts...