Interesting Pitching Match-up Friday Night for Angels-Blue Jays

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Updated: April 21, 2017

Tonight the Angels face the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of a three game weekend series. Nothing particular about this series jumps out at me except for the fact that the last place, 3-11 Blue Jays are off to their worst start since their inception into the league in 1977. Or that the Angels, after a 6-2 start, have gone 1-8 in the past nine games. So what we don’t have tonight are two teams moving in the right direction during the first month of the season.

 

What we do have tonight is an interesting pitching matchup of a journeyman vs. a 27 year old who is still considered a rookie.

On Friday night, Toronto will throw out Mat Latos for his first start of the season. After giving up one run in nine innings this season for AAA Buffalo, the 29 year old Latos will be making a start for his eighth major league team in nine years. That includes three and two thirds innings for the Angels in 2015. With injuries to Aaron Sanchez and JA Happ, the Blue Jays are in need for pitching and if Latos can return to his form from five or six years ago where he won 14 games in each of the 2010, 2012, and 2013 season, he may earn a bigger role in the Jays’ rotation. This creates a big chance for a man who has bounced around the majors and minor leagues since being drafted in 2006.

 

Opposing Latos will be Alex Meyer who is also getting his first major league start of the year. Brought over in the trade that sent Hector Santiago to the Minnesota Twins, Meyer started five games for the Halos last year earning a 1-2 record with 24 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

 

This season at AAA Salt Lake, Meyer hasn’t been spectacular posting a 4.80 ERA in three starts but his control has looked better (five walks in 15 innings) and has only given up one home run to the 67 batters he has faced.

 

Meyer had been a top prospect in the Twins organization before injuries slowed his progression through the minors. The Angels are hoping that a change to Meyer’s windup this spring will help reduce his chance of injury. A strong showing tonight could go a long way in the eyes of Mike Scioscia and the Angels organization if they decide to make a change in the current pitching rotation.

 

So while tonight’s game in late April may not seem incredibly important (or interesting) for two teams trending downward, it may contribute to a journeyman pitcher finding a home (for now) or an injury prone 27 year old rookie finally being able to put on display the potential he’s been waiting to show for years.

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