With yesterday’s Sunday Night Baseball marquee against Detroit postponed, Masahiro Tanaka will take the reigns against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Tanaka was scheduled to start the rubber match between the Tigers. In his start against the Astros, he looked good, not great. Given the weather conditions, it was a solid start. He went 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and giving up two runs. He’ll go up against 23 year old Aaron Sanchez, a right hander who looked good for Toronto in his first start, going seven strong. Tanaka will need to go deeper into games, as do the rest of the rotation. The extra day of rest will help everyone involved.
In Tanaka’s final three starts against the Blue Jays last season, who were one of baseball’s most explosive offenses after acquiring Troy Tulowitzki, he only allowed three runs in 22 innings of work. He may have Toronto’s number, and looks to build on those strong performances. While the weather might have stiffened up the arms of pitchers thus far, the Rogers Centre roof in Toronto may be closed, which could allow Tanaka’s splitter to have more life on it. If it does, it could be a long day for Blue Jay’s batters.