Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Andriese, Rays aiming to stay tough on Blue Jays

The Rays will send rookie right-hander Matt Andriese to the mound and the Blue Jays are set to counter with rookie lefty Daniel Norris in the series rematch on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.
Andriese entered the season in limbo, not knowing whether he would be a starter or a reliever. He made his Major League debut last Friday night, a scoreless inning of relief against the Marlins.
Norris, meanwhile, is fresh off his first MLB win, helping the Blue Jays take down the Yankees last Thursday with 5 2/3 innings and five strikeouts. He allowed two homers and three earned runs on six hits and two walks.
Three things to know about this game
• Andriese spent the 2014 season at Triple-A Durham, where he made 25 starts and led the Bulls with 11 wins. He is considered a "ground-ball guy" who won't overpower hitters with his velocity. The Blue Jays will see a changeup that acts like a splitter. Everything he throws is usually low and has some kind of sinking or cutting action to it.
"He keeps the ball down really well," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "And facing these guys, that's probably what we'd like him to do."
• In 2014, Toronto captured its first season series at home against Tampa Bay since 2010, winning five of nine games. The Blue Jays also won the season series as a whole between the two sides last year, marking the first time they've done so since 2006.
• Norris, who's considered Toronto's top prospect according to MLBpipeline.com, is expected to be a linchpin in the rotation this season. Only 21, he rocketed through the club's system last year and made his Major League debut in early September, five months after starting with Class A Advanced Dunedin. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said his young starter has adjusted well to big-league life, showing plenty of confidence.
"He got his feet wet last year, and he looked great all spring," Gibbons said. "He's a different character, but he's very confident and he looked good in New York."

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