Jair Jurrjens to make spring debut on Thursday

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Jair Jurrjens headshot.jpgGood news from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to make his exhibition debut against the Yankees on Thursday.

Jurrjens gave Braves fans quite the scare upon arriving to camp last month after he experienced some soreness in his pitching shoulder. After an MRI revealed only mild inflammation, Jurrjens was sidelined for the first two weeks of camp, however as O’Brien points out, he has quickly progressed from long-tossing in the outfield to taking on the World Champions within the space of 11 days. Impressive. Jurrjens is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Tuesday in preparation for his Grapefruit League debut.

The 24-year-old right-hander was 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 34 starts last season, logging 215 innings. He’ll feature prominently in a rotation that figures to be a strength this season.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.