The Blue Jays rolled the cube at Fenway Park on Saturday by asking right-hander Sam Gaviglio to start out a sport for the second time in 4 days.

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After recording simply 5 outs in his earlier outing towards the Braves, Gaviglio responded nicely in Boston, carrying the sport for 10 outs and permitting only a leadoff homer within the fourth by J.D. Martinez earlier than handing off to a busy Blue Jays bullpen once more. However these Sox are good, and the tip outcome was a 6-2 Boston win on a 10th-inning walk-off grand slam by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

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Sam Gaviglio gave the Blue Jays 10 outs on Saturday at Fenway, after getting knocked out early on Wednesday in Atlanta.
Sam Gaviglio gave the Blue Jays 10 outs on Saturday at Fenway, after getting knocked out early on Wednesday in Atlanta.  (Omar Rawlings / GETTY IMAGES)

The fourth-inning Martinez homer stood up till the Jays tied the sport on a floor ball by Aledmys Diaz, scoring Kendrys Morales within the seventh, adopted in the identical inning by a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single towards Joe Kelly to attain Dwight Smith Jr., who had doubled off the Inexperienced Monster.

The door was opened for the Purple Sox within the 10th by the Jays’ star of the day, Gurriel. He booted a routine one-out floor ball by Mookie Betts and it was an excessive amount of for that overworked ’pen to deal with. The Sox walked it off towards Chris Rowley, added to the roster simply previous to the sport.

Saturday was the closest the Jays and supervisor John Gibbons have are available in 2018 to replicating the Rays’ fully outside-the-box idea of beginning a reliever (Rays name him the opener) and constructing from there, anticipating to go 4 or 5 pitchers deep with a view to wend their means by means of 9 innings and hopefully a victory.

The query stays: Is there a big function for Gaviglio with the Jays in 2019? The problem he has had is changing into much less efficient the second and third instances by means of the order, regardless that it’s solely an 11-start pattern measurement. As soon as by means of the order as a starter may fit within the Rays’ rotation-by-committee idea, however the Jays and most different groups aren’t going there.

The primary time by means of the order on Saturday, Gaviglio allowed two hits and a stroll. The second time, he allowed two hits in 4 at-bats, together with the Martinez homer. For his MLB profession, the variations are clear and current. The primary time by means of an opposing lineup they’ve hit .224 (48 for 214) with 24 walks and 39 strikeouts. The second time, opponents hit .289 (57 for 197 with 12 walks and 46 strikeouts. The third time and past, opponents hit .304.

Whereas the Jays’ current roster manipulations — some synthetic, some reputable — have largely revolved round pitching, there are some considerations in regards to the well being of two key place gamers.

Within the third inning, Boston’s Brock Holt looped a delicate line drive towards centre with two runners on base. Kevin Pillar raced in and caught the ball simply above the grass earlier than rolling over and turning it right into a double play at second base. That effort saved Gaviglio from a giant inning, however Pillar was compelled from the sport with what was identified without any consideration clavicle sprain. Within the prime of the sixth with one out, Gurriel dived into first on an infield hit and was kicked at the back of the neck by Purple Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who was masking. Gurriel remained within the sport, Rodriguez didn’t.

As for the way forward for the Jays’ starter, it’s a query of whether or not the Jays have any selection however to fall again, regroup and embody him in a rotation which may be on the entrance of a rebuilding yr. Not very best.

Upon additional overview, it’s potential they might want to substitute three pitchers, or 60 per cent of the highly-touted rotation that broke with the group from spring coaching. Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ will turn into free brokers and should not even final as Jays till the tip of July. Fifth starter Jaime Garcia has a membership possibility that requires a $2-million U.S. buyout and, at 31 years previous with a disappointing 2-6 document and 6.16 ERA in 13 begins, the buyout is probably going.

That leaves Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez on the prime of the rotation. Add to {that a} nice shock, rookie left-hander Ryan Borucki — who, by the way, was optioned to the minors on Saturday with a view to convey up a recent arm in Rowley. Borucki will stay within the minors for the minimal 10 days and is scheduled to start out once more towards the Twins on July 24. Estrada is already on the 10-day DL and will be activated in time for subsequent Saturday’s begin towards the O’s. Gaviglio will begin Friday.

So, is it in any respect potential for Gaviglio to be thought-about for a 2019 rotation spot behind Stroman, Sanchez and Borucki? Sure, however unlikely. Gibbons prefers him as a major-league swingman who can get greater than three outs in reduction after which come again and do it once more a few days later, and spot begin when wanted.

Forward of Gaviglio, the entrance workplace is excessive on a few of the different child starters, particularly right-handers Sean Reid-Foley and T.J. Zeuch. Then there’s the potential for re-signing Happ as a free agent or going after any variety of veteran arms to fill out the beginning 5.

The Jays have had a wealthy current historical past of swingmen within the function they hope Gaviglio can fill. The checklist over the previous 10 years with no less than 20 reduction appearances and 5 begins in a season consists of Joe Biagini (2017), Sanchez (2015), Dustin McGowan (2014), Esmil Rogers (2013), Carlos Villanueva (2011-12), Jesse Litsch (2011) and Brian Tallet (2010).

Coincidentally, Jays pitching coach Pete Walker might inform Gaviglio the whole lot he must know in regards to the swingman function. From 2002-05, Walker made 101 appearances for the Jays, together with 31 begins.

Richard Griffin is a sports activities columnist based mostly in Toronto. Observe him on Twitter: @rgriffinstar



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