Everything is not OK with the Toronto Blue Jays as they get ready to play ball Tuesday at the Rogers Centre in their home opener.
Things are not exactly hopping for the Milwaukee Brewers, either, as they start their first road trip of the season with a two-game set against the Blue Jays.
Both teams have struggled.
The Blue Jays had a 1-5 trip to Baltimore and Tampa Bay, which included two extra-inning losses, to open the season. They lost 7-2 to the Rays on Sunday before coming home enjoy a day off on Monday.
They hope to turn things around at the Rogers Centre.
“Yeah, I think that’s what we need,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We need to get home. Seems like we’ve been gone forever. Maybe that’s the energy and spark we need.”
The Brewers completed their season-opening homestand with a 2-5 record, capped by a 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. They had Monday off before starting a nine-game trip.
Like the Blue Jays, the Brewers have had to use their bullpen frequently as well as dealing with injuries among relievers. The Brewers beat the Cubs 2-1 on Friday in 11 innings.
“We taxed the bullpen pretty good,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Sunday. “In the last two days, we were really having to manage the game backwards just with bullpen stuff. It’s because of Junior (Guerra) getting hurt (right calf strain), close games, extra innings. Then we ran into a good offense in the Cubs the last two games.”
Before their game on Sunday, the Brewers selected the contract of right-handed reliever David Goforth from Triple-A Colorado Springs. It is his eighth stint with Milwaukee since his big-league debut May 26, 2015.
Right-handed reliever Damien Magnifico, also with Colorado Springs, was designated for assignment to create space for Goforth on the 40-man roster.
The Blue Jays expect to add to their bullpen by reinstating closer Roberto Osuna from the disabled list. He opened the season on the disabled list with neck spasms.
Left-handed reliever J.P. Howell was placed on the DL on Sunday due to a shoulder strain.
Toronto received more bad news Sunday when third baseman Josh Donaldson left in the sixth inning with tightness in his right calf running to first base. He said after the game he felt that he could be ready for Tuesday.
“I’m not worried about it,” said Donaldson, who missed time during spring training with a strain in a different area of the calf. “Honestly, I think it’s very realistic that I’ll be ready for the home opener.”
The Blue Jays will start left-hander J.A. Happ (0-1, 3.86 ERA). In his first start of the season against the Orioles, he allowed five hits (including two home runs), no walks and three runs in seven innings while striking out nine. Happ was 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 2016.
Happ is 3-4 with a 6.13 ERA in 11 career games (10 starts) against the Brewers.
The Brewers will start right-hander Wily Peralta (1-0, 0.00 ERA). He pitched five scoreless innings on April 5 in a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies. He has faced Toronto once in his career, allowing four earned runs in six innings in a no-decision in 2014.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who hit a three-run homer Sunday, was not ready to make any conclusions from the first week of the season.
“We don’t really know what to expect,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys who don’t have long track records. There’s a lot of guys with tremendous upside.
“I think we’ve seen some good things, we’ve seen some bad things, and I would imagine we’ll continue to see some of both of those things as we move forward.”
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, see themselves as contenders after reaching the American League Championship Series each of the past two seasons.
“Obviously, 1-5 is not the way you want to start . . . good thing there’s 162 of these,” Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. “It’s only six games, so back home in front of our great fans, (we can) get this thing rolling.
“We’ve got a good ballclub. And there’s no panic in here. We’re going to be just fine, I can promise you that.”