Toronto is in an 0-2 ALCS hole at the hands of Cleveland, leading Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista to imply Sunday that his club is up against both the Indians and the series’ home plate umpires. “All you gotta do is look at the video and count how many times [Indians pitchers have] throw pitches over the heart of the plate,” he told Mike Vorkunov of USA Today. “It hasn’t been many. They’ve been able to do that because of the circumstances – that I’m not trying to talk about because I can’t. That’s for you guys to do but you guys don’t really want to talk about that either.” In response to Bautista’s claim, Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus (Twitter link) reviewed PITCHf/x data and concluded that home plate umps Laz Diaz and Jim Wolf called balls and strikes pretty evenly for both teams during the series’ first two games. Conversely, Mark Simon of ESPN.com writes that the Indians have had a clear advantage with respect to the strike zone. TruMedia shows that Indians pitchers have gotten strike calls at a 7.4 percent higher rate than average during the series, according to Simon. On the other hand, Blue Jays pitchers are at 1.8 percent lower than average.
As we wait for Monday’s Game 3 in Toronto, here’s more from around the AL:
- The White Sox will name Chris Getz their director of player development during the upcoming week, reports Scott Merkin of MLB.com. The 33-year-old Getz will take over for Nick Capra, who is now the White Sox’s third base coach. Getz was a major league second baseman from 2008-14, including parts of two seasons with the White Sox. The South Siders selected Getz in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
- If the Indians end up advancing to the World Series, what already seems like an untouchable bullpen could add another weapon in Danny Salazar. The injured right-hander – out since early September with a forearm strain – threw a simulated game Sunday after rejoining the Indians in Toronto, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Salazar, who had been throwing in Arizona, is “doing pretty good,” said manager Terry Francona. “He’s not back yet where he’s throwing all his pitches or letting it go 100 percent. I think if we ask him to do that, he might be reaching right now. We’ve been pretty vocal about [how] the first priority is getting him back healthy.”