The red-hot Toronto Blue Jays will see a trio of familiar faces when the Oakland Athletics arrive at Rogers Centre Tuesday.
Blue Jays fans will see Brett Lawrie and Kendall Graveman for the first time since Alex Anthopoulos dealt them away in the off-season while Danny Valencia returns following a surprise roster move.
It will be fascinating to see what kind of reaction Lawrie receives in his return to Canada.
See how the three Athletics and 10 other former Blue Jays are faring in the latest edition of the ex-files.
Brett Lawrie, Oakland Athletics: Lawrie, one of the principal figures in the trade to acquire Josh Donaldson last winter, will be primarily playing second base when he returns to Rogers Centre (the addition of Valencia caused the Athletics to move him from the hot corner). Offensively, Lawrie hasn’t been lighting the world on fire but he has been productive, hitting .268/.306/.405 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI and a troubling ratio of 95 strikeouts to 18 walks. He is on pace for career-highs in home runs, RBI, and strikeouts.
Danny Valencia, Oakland Athletics: Many were caught by surprise when the Blue Jays designated Valencia for assignment following a productive run with the club. He has been a nice addition in Oakland, homering twice and driving in five runs while hitting .438/.500/.938 in 18 plate appearances. It’s a small sample size for sure, but there’s no doubt that he can be a productive bat.
Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics: Graveman, who will be starting Tuesday against the Blue Jays, was also part of the Donaldson trade. He has been a regular contributor in Oakland’s rotation besides a brief demotion to the minors. Since his return, he has dealt with some consistency issues but overall he’s 6-7 with a 3.90 ERA, 66 strikeouts, 35 walks and 12 home runs allowed in 18 starts.
Jose Reyes, Colorado Rockies: No one expected the Blue Jays to move their likeable veteran shortstop, but Troy Tulowitzki has proven to be an upgrade both offensively and defensively. Reyes has taken a while to get going since moving to Colorado, hitting .209/.239/.256 with three RBI, two stolen bases and six strikeouts in 11 games. The Rockies are expected to explore moving him in the off-season.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: The Blue Jays have to be thrilled with the recent production of R.A. Dickey, but some fans still wish the team held on to ascending right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who looks like a future ace for the New York Mets. The 6-foot-6 Syndergaard has a 3.01 ERA, 106 strikeouts, 22 walks and nine home runs allowed in 98.2 innings. His performance was dominant throughout the month July, allowing a total of five earned runs over 34 innings.
Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers: Norris, arguably the centrepiece of the package that landed David Price, has already made a pair of starts since joining the Tigers. He fared far better in his debut, allowing one run on four hits in 7.1 innings of work against the Baltimore Orioles. The second time out he was lit up for five runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings against the Boston Red Sox. His next start comes Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Matt Boyd, Detroit Tigers: Like Norris, Boyd has had erratic production in two starts since being traded to the Tigers. The young left-hander excelled in his debut, allowing one run in seven innings of work with two strikeouts before a so-so outing Monday night against the Royals. He gave up three earned runs in 5.1 innings but struck out six with just one walk.
Adam Lind, Milwaukee Brewers: It was a surprise that the Brewers didn’t move Lind, who was acquired for Marco Estrada last winter, at the non-waiver deadline. Surely a contender could have used a veteran left-handed bat, hitting .284/.363/.479 with 16 home runs and 64 RBI. Lind isn’t playing much against lefties but he’s been a consistent righty-masher for Milwaukee.
Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox: Cabrera has come around as a productive hitter after a slow start with the White Sox. Since July 1, he’s batting .356/.385/.608 with five home runs and 30 RBI over 148 plate appearances. He also had one of the funniest highlights of the season, slipping and falling while attempting to throw out Mike Trout from the ground.
Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros: Rasmus isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary in his first year in Houston, hitting .238/.310/.452 with 14 home runs, 41 RBI, 104 strikeouts and 30 walks. In fact, his numbers are quite similar to last season, his final year with the Blue Jays.
Casey Janssen, Washington Nationals: The longtime Blue Jays reliever has become a regular contributor to the Nationals’ bullpen in a middle relief role. He is 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA, 16 strikeouts, four walks, and just one homer allowed.
Anthony Gose, Detroit Tigers: Gose remains a work in progress for a “retooling” Tigers squad. The speedy outfielder has been inconsistent at the plate, hitting .250/.306/.356 with two home runs, 18 RBI, 16 stolen bases, 90 strikeouts and just 23 walks. By way of comparison, the Blue Jays have gotten more reliable production out of Kevin Pillar.
J.A. Happ, Pittsburgh Pirates: Happ was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a depth move just before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Since his move back to the National League, the left-hander has made one start, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. Presumably that didn’t impress his new team, who will use an off day to skip his next start in order to get Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano on the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals. Sound familiar?