Jun 23, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) talks with Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Jose Bautista (19) and catcher Russell Martin (55) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Blue Jays Key Players To Watch:
- Catcher Russell Martin will likely be very excited to play his first game on Canada Day for the Blue Jays, considering that he’s very proud of being Canadian. His batting average is only .067 in the last five games, but Martin still has a home run and two RBIs in that span. The crowd should help Martin find a new gear to go to at the plate, considering the calibre of player that he has shown this season and in the past.
- Josh Donaldson is a beast, appearing in Toronto media highlight reels every night, at the plate and on defense. The overwhelming support that Canada has given Donaldson to start as the third baseman at the All-Star game is staggering. From famous hockey celebrities like Don Cherry taking time out of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Championship coverage to discuss Donaldson’s exploits on the field, Josh has been all smiles about his new home. His home run and two RBIs in the last few games is only part of how much Donaldson means to the Blue Jays.
- Devon Travis recently returned from injury, taking back his spot at second base, and he hasn’t disappointed. Last night, a ball was hit into the shallow outfield, but Travis’ speed and baserunning I.Q. did not allow him to meekly stop at third. He rounded the bag to beat out the throw to home, helping the Blue Jays defeat the Texas Rangers. Travis needs to be a marked man on the bases, if the Red Sox wish to keep the Blue Jays runs to a minimum, as any base can be a scoring position for him.
- If Roberto Osuna hasn’t established himself as the Blue Jays closer by now, then manager John Gibbons needs to be fired. He has only allowed a hit and a walk in his recent 3.2 innings, striking out seven batters and saving two ballgames in two opportunities. According to FanGraphs.com, the 20-year-old righty throws a 95-mph fastball; however, looking past the statistics, anyone can see that it’s his filthy slider that has batters on their back heels. There’s so much movement on that slider that it makes a rollercoaster look like a smooth, straight, pleasure cruise. The Red Sox will not want to see Osuna in the ninth inning, or else it may be three quick outs before they lose.