The Blue Jays waived starter Jo-Jo Reyes and the Orioles have taken a flyer on him. They also released the last starter they took a flyer on, Justin Duchscherer.
Reyes was 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 110 IP for the Jays this year. You can’t really call it a “bad year,” however, because it’s pretty much the Jo-Jo Reyes we all know. For his career he’s 10-23 with a 6.04 ERA, all but four games as a starter. He’ll consume innings as the Orioles play out the string. Nothing more.
The release of Duchscherer was inevitable, but a bit of a bummer all the same. He hadn’t pitched since early last season and didn’t pitch at all in 2009. Hip problems and depression have basically wrecked his career. A career that, at one time at least, looked promising.
In an ideal world, Justin Duchscherer is pitching major league innings someplace and Jo-Jo Reyes is probably not. But health is everything when you’re a pitcher, and their example shows it pretty plainly.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.