Do you remember how last week we were all freaking out because the Minnesota series was going to be the last games the Orioles would play against a team with a sub-.500 record? Turns out that was false: thanks to their defeat at the hands of the O's last night, the Blue Jays are now sporting a below .500 record. Functionally, the Toronto team tonight is the same one as took the field last night (well, minus last night's losing pitcher, Brian Tallet, who was DFA'd), but, well... actually, I might have just wanted to rub it in a little bit. Cito sucks!
Tonight, the Toronto starter is Henderson Alvarez. He is 21 years old and this will be his fifth start in the big leagues. I asked myself what the hell a 21 year old is doing making starts in the big leagues, so I went over to Bluebird Banter and found out he made the jump from AA right to MLB, and supposedly he has a plus fastball and changeup who's going to get ground balls, and oh yeah, he's also reported to have hit 100mph on the radar gun in the minor leagues this year. Alvarez has pitched 22.2 innings since making it up to the show, in which he's compiled a 4.76 ERA while allowing hitters to get a .272/.327/.478 slash line off of him. That's the OBP/SLG equivalent of 2011 Adam Jones, with fewer hits but more walks.
It's pretty hard to have a starter on the last day of August who's got a worse ERA than that 4.76, but this is the Orioles we're talking about, and they counter with Jo-Jo Reyes. I feel like Reyes is rapidly occupying the same real estate that was taken up by Kevin Millwood last year, in this way: it's a farce that he was acquired to begin with, and it's increasingly absurd as the team continues to trot him out there, while at the same time totally depressing because he might actually be one of the five best starter options at this moment. Say this about Reyes, though: we're only on the hook for paying him about $150k, as opposed to the $9 million we paid Millwood.
Also, I find myself incapable of having much positive to write about games where Reyes is starting. The ESPN Accuscore 10,000 simulations tool predicts a 53% chance of an Orioles victory, though. Yeah, I don't know either.
This is the part where I would act like Reyes is going to hold some kind of grudge against his former team if I thought it mattered. Reyes sucked, he was DFA'd and claimed by the O's, who have a peculiar fondness for players who suck. Now he is here and he still sucks. But maybe he'll win tonight. Go O's!
|Blue Jays (H. Alvarez - R) @ Orioles (J. Reyes - L)|