Over the last few days, the starting pitching match ups have been finalized for the two Spring Training games at Olympic Stadium between the New York Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Buehrle adds some name recognition to the match up. Acquired last year in the blockbuster trade the Jays made with the Miami Marlins, Buehrle has thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game in his career. He is past his prime days with the Chicago White Sox but recovered from a slow start last year to finish a respectable 12-10 with a 4.15 earned run average.
Mejia is 24 years old and in 2010 was named the top prospect in the Mets system. He made his Major League debut that same year. Last year, he made five starts, going 1-2 with a sparkling 2.30 ERA. Those five starts show a new commitment to putting Mejia back in the rotation. Of his 43 career Major League games, only 11 have been starts.
Morrow is 29 years old and was acquired from the Jays in a trade from the Seattle Mariners where he was a first round pick. He has shown flashes of brilliance for the Blue Jays, including in 2012 when he went 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA and in 2011 when he had over a strikeout per inning.
Last year was a struggle for Morrow, who pitches with diabetes. He was 2-3 in only 10 starts with a 5.63 ERA before being shut down with an injury and says he is excited to pitch in Montreal.
“It’ll be nice to go up there and break up being in [the Dunedin] area,” said Morrow to the National Post. “Instead of just busing over to St. Pete, we get to go up there and then come back … I’ve heard that they’re pretty much sold out in Montreal, so that’ll be fun.”
Matsuzaka might be the most recognizable name starting the two games but he is not the pitcher he was with the Boston Red Sox.
The 33 year old had his best season in 2008 when he went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA. Since then, it has been a struggle. Last year, he went 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA with the Mets and his battling for a spot in the rotation – and perhaps even in the Major Leagues.
Matsuzaka will be good for Montreal baseball fans who want to savour every pitch over the two game series – he is known to be one of the pitchers who takes the longest between pitches in the Major Leagues.
Stick with La Metropole Sports for all of your coverage of the Mets and Jays in Montreal as we celebrate Baseball Week in Montreal.