On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays received some rather encouraging news following a 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers earlier in the day as part of the club's ten-game homestand under the dome at Rogers Centre.
Given the list of injuries that have hit the roster of late, fate seems to be the last thing looking upon a franchise who have been dealt a rather horrific start to open the 2017 regular season. Over the weekend, fans got to see the return of Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson, both of whom have been out of game action for an extended period of time.
With that in mind, yet another man of their own was seen on the hill Sunday night in Buffalo as Francisco Liriano threw 4.1 solid innings of work, surrendering 2 walks, 3 hits and 3 runs while striking out 7 over 72 pitches offered during his rehab stint as he looks to bounce back from inflammation in his left shoulder.
Anyways, moving on, the Blue Jays still have aways to go after a constant struggle with the health of Aaron Sanchez, not to mention the likes of Anthony Alford who was just recalled, and lefty J.A. Happ who could potentially be the next one up in just days to come which would bump Joe Biagini back into his role at the back of the bullpen.
Fast forward to Monday night, After taking two of three from a club who has been on a tear through most of May, Toronto gets set to welcome home one of their own in hometown boy Joey Votto, 33, who will visit for three games alongside his Cincinnati Reds starting with Marcus Stroman who will go for the Blue Jays in the first of the pair against fellow right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla. Stroman is looking for his third straight win while he currently owns a 5-2 record to go alongside a 3.30 ERA. As for Bonilla, he is currently 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA.
With Toronto participating in their fourth interleague matchup of the regular season, it would be good to provide a few notes for what to expect when things get underway as the last time the Reds made a stop in Toronto would be looking back at 2009 and before that respectively, 2008.
As noted by Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the Blue Jays wound up taking two out of three in both series. Toronto, on the other hand, last made a visit in Cincinnati back in 2014 when the Reds took two out of a three-game series played at Great American Ball Park.
Turning the focus back to Votto, who was born in Etobicoke, Ontario and is a 2002 graduate of Richview Collegiate Institute, he will catch a ceremonial first pitch prior to Monday's memorial day affair, from his senior team baseball coach, Steve "Whitey" Breitner, who will also be honoured by the team before the clock reaches game-time.
With Stroman taking to the bump in just a few hours to come, it is good to note that he has pitched in ten games so far this season, six of which have been referred to as "quality", while his lineup has averaged 5.6 runs per game with the 26-year-old youngster on the mound.