Blue Jays win behind Rio, Springer and Bechet, Foto returns emotionally

Blue Jays win behind Rio, Springer and Bechet, Foto returns emotionally

TORONTO – Joey Photo described himself as being so excited when he’s at home, that the feeling made him get goosebumps and cost him sleep.

He grew up 11 kilometers from Rogers Center and regularly passed the Dome and CN Tower during the summers he was growing in when he headed downtown to catch up with his dad at work. “There is great meaning[in returning to the city],” he said. “Really great meaning.”

Of course, then, he admitted that he allowed himself to think about what it might have been like to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the team he grew up on. The path of the 38-year-old first baseman led him in a different direction. He’s now nearing the end of his career with the Cincinnati Reds, but his hometown club wasn’t far off his radar.

“There are three important teams in my life,” he said on Friday. “When I was recruited, I thought I was going to be a Yankee. My late father wanted me to be a Yankee. We were wooed by the Yankees as they were getting closer to enlistment. Then the Reds picked me, so this is the second team, the most important team.”

“The Toronto Blue Jays is my childhood team. The team that I still have family and friends asking questions about. Pointing out how well the team is doing. Participating in the 2015 playoff game and sitting there in the stands after we got knocked out, angry at Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, My friends. So, of course.”

Foto’s long-term commitment to the Reds in 2012 – when he signed a $225 million 10-year extension into next year with the club’s option for 2024 – essentially negated that prospect. He would have been the perfect addition for the 2015-16 Blue Jays, when Cincinnati last sold their core, but now, amid the club’s latest threats to the ground, as it tries to find its swing after a horrific start and bout of COVID-19, the fit is less certain.

Certainly his profile – high OBP, high IQ, left-handed hitter with strength – is a need for the Blue Jays, who ride on George Springer’s RBI single, netting two goals from Bo Bichette and six rounds from Hyun Jin Ryo in a 2-1 victory on Friday night.

But Votto started the night with 0.413 OPS in 22 games and “smarter to right the wrong,” he said. And while he’s absolutely right in remarking that he’s had “very few bad stretches in my career and I’ve always corrected them,” what is the remainder of his $25 million salary this year and next, plus the $7 million buyout in his 2024 option is Will the Reds have to pay for it to make it a bet someone would want to take?

Given the way the Reds hacked into the payroll over the winter, finding common ground with any team is unlikely, and Foto will have the final say on his destination, which he has earned and deserved.

Now, the equation may change if he is filled with right-hander Luis Castillo, who was allowed to run two times in seven by five strokes over an impressive six innings on Friday. The 29-year-old has been on his third start to the season since recovering from a shoulder strain and is among the most robust starters in the game, but as a suspended free agent after next season he is part of the Reds’ past, not theirs. .

Thus, there is room for creativity for any team that wants to be.

The Blue Jays’ priority this summer, at least with things shaping up, should be a left-handed hitter who can make some impact. Ideally, it’s an outside player or someone who can jump around a diamond, but with a DH spot currently spinning around the list to manage their workload, they can stick to any acquisition there and not worry about the positional fit.

Flexibility in DH is useful, although sacrificing that for another offensive piece is a worthwhile trade.

“Yeah, as any manager can tell you, if we get to DH who swings and there is every day, I’m all for it,” said Charlie Montoyo. “At the moment we don’t have that guy, so we’re using a DH spot to give the guys half a day.”

The Blue Jays did it on Friday, using Springer in DH and starting with Bradley Zimmer in the middle with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Still working through some hamstring tightness. Zimmer doubled, including in fifth to drive a pivotal two-stage rally.

Ryu made the number despite allowing 12 balls to play at 94.9 mph or more, six of them in triple digits. The veteran left player, in his second round since returning from forearm inflammation, allowed doubles in five of his six innings but found zero each time, helped by some solid defensive positioning.

However, his Fastball averaged 89.7 mph and touched 92.9, his toughest pitch of the year, separating 10.1 mph from his change, generating five of his seven pitches.

“As a guy we can control his change and fastball with life, this is how I attack hitters,” Ryu said through translator JS Park. “If you’re able to continue to do so, this will continue to grow.”

The connection against both highlighted the importance of his shift to help control the speed of the bats, as well as defensive alignment to better support him.

One of the five doubles came from Foto, who tore a ball to the right at 99mph with two in sixth, but was stranded when Kyle Farmer lined up at 102.6mph in Rimmel Tapia in left field.

“The process is the front office collects some information for us, sends it down, we review it, and we make sure we’re all on the same page in what we’re trying to do,” said Mark Budzinski, first head coach. “I hope you are in the right place more than once. It is not a perfect science, but we try to give our guys a chance to play.”

The Reds had a run of seventh on RBI’s Matt Reynolds, but Adam Semper, Yemi Garcia and Jordan Romano, on his first outing since suffering a GI infection, shut it down.

For Votto, Day 1 vs 4 marks the start as he tries to redirect his season. He came back from IL with a plan and his diagnosis process skewed away from a lot of data.

“I feel like with more information it gets more complicated, like you’re starting to break down,” he explained. “I’ve tried to keep it really simple. I feel hit more. When I have a lot of information, I complicate things. I’m at my best. When it’s simple, it’s instinctive, it’s natural.”

There is no better place than home for that.

2022-05-21 02:21:00

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