Ricky Tiedemann is him, Zach Britton hits a nuke, and more as the Jays split the split squad games
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
It’s a two-for-one article!
On Tuesday afternoon, the Jays played the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies in split-squad action. They won the former but lost the latter. Let’s start with the win first.
The Jays beat the Tigers 6-4:
The player of the game is you guessed it, Ricky Tiedemann.
According to Baseball Savant data last season, the highest in-game velocity Tiedemann hit was 98.2 mph in Dunedin. Today, he hit 99.4 mph to strike out Javier Báez. For his second strikeout of the game, he got another big leaguer, Matt Vierling, to swing at an 85.9 mph changeup with a nasty arm side fade.
As long as his career isn’t plagued with injuries, he has the ceiling of an ace who could win multiple Cy Young awards. The embedded video showcases every single pitch from the afternoon.
Things worth mentioning:
Cavan Biggio may have solved the “who’s the fourth outfield” debate. He made a spectacular catch in the first inning, and promptly followed the catch with an accurate throw to double up the runner at first. He went 0-2 with a walk.
Kevin Kiermaier dazzled today, going perfect at the plate (2-2) while hitting a pretty big double. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from the recent signee.
Santiago Espinal leads the team in hits and added two more today. If they can get this version of Espinal throughout the season, maybe, just maybe, he’ll get another all-star nod. They Jays have a lot of depth at second base, but Espinal may be the front-runner to be the regular start at the moment.
Chris Bassitt and Erik Swanson made their Blue Jays debut today. The former went two innings, allowing two hits, walking one, and giving up an earned run. Swanson loaded the bases, but eventually got out of it.
Anthony Bass struck out the side. He looked real good today.
Troy Watson is a hard-throwing righty, who missed most of last season recovering from Tommy John. Today, he came in as a reserve with the bases loaded, and struck out former Arizona Fall League teammate Gage Workman on four pitches. There’s a shot he rises up the minor leagues in 2023.
Jimmy Burnette is a pitcher you should keep an eye on this season. Today was his second appearance in spring training and he struck out two facing the minimum. So far this spring training, he has a 75 K%.
The Jays lose 7-2 to the Phillies:
The Jays loaded up the home game with all but one regular… the same cannot be said for their loss.
This game’s player of the game award is given to Zach Britton. He went 2-2 with a triple (sun and Kyle Schwarber assisted), as well as a homer that was 106.8 mph off the bat.
The catcher/outfielder had a breakout season in 2022 but could carry that momentum to an even better season in 2023.
Things worth mentioning:
Jackson Rees was one of the pitchers that stood out Tuesday afternoon. While he gave up two earned runs, he had the most whiffs in the game (6), and showed why he’s a reliever to watch for in 2023. He missed most of the past two seasons due to Tommy John surgery/recovery.
Alex De Jesus also stood out with the bat this afternoon. He was a defensive replacement for Addison Barger and went 2-2 with a single and a liner double. If you combine his performance with Britton’s, they hit for the cycle! Although, De Jesus has one of those under his belt already.
José Berríos made his spring training debut this afternoon and looked solid. He pitched two innings, allowed two hits, walked a batter, but struck out two. Moreover, his stuff just looked nasty, especially his sinker.
Sebastian Espino was a minor league rule 5 draft pick before the start of the 2021 season. While he has a high K%, and I mean HIGH, Espino’s power is legit. Last season, he hit 14 homers with a 43.7 K%, while batting .181. Adjustments will definitely need to be made if he wishes to progress to the next level, but that power is intriguing.
Jimmy Robbins had a tough start to his afternoon, but after a walk and a meeting on the mound, he dialed in. He struck out two looking on perfect fastballs and generated a flyball. It’ll be interesting to see how his spring training and season progressed, but he hit 93.7 mph, and looks like a left-handed starter to watch this season.
The Blue Jays prospects hit the ball HARD today. Out of the five hardest hit balls, Blue Jays prospects had all five spots. Sebastian Espino’s 409 oppo-taco clocked in at 109.4 mph, one of Addison Barger’s groundouts clocked in at 108.2 mph, a Rainer Núñez had a 107.7 mph force out, Britton’s homer at 106.8, and Alex De Jesus’s double clocked in at 105.9 mph. Very intriguing numbers.
Yosver Zulueta barely pitched today… but he did. He struck out the first batter he saw on four pitches and then proceeded to get two fly balls on his next four pitches. Good stuff from the 25-year-old.
Tomorrow’s game against the Baltimore Orioles will be played at 1:05 PM, but will not feature any video. I’m thankful for that, as I’m getting a root canal. Fun.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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