Adams shakes off nerves in big league debut

June 10th, 2021

needed to make quick adjustments throughout his MLB debut in Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the White Sox. The catcher had no idea if he was going to be activated for the series. He was notified when he walked into Guaranteed Rate Field that he'd be catching Robbie Ray that night.

There was no time for the moment to sink in or to overthink anything. Adams, the No. 18 Blue Jays prospect, needed to prepare with Ray and familiarize himself with how he attacks the zone with a revived slider, while also preparing to bat by studying the arsenal of opposing starter Carlos Rodón.

As the night unfolded, Adams found himself in a memorable game.

“There were some parts that sped up,” Adams said. “But having Robbie out there to help me out, talking with him before the game and just trying to get on the same page with him, he made it a lot easier and a lot nicer to settle down.”

Ray struck out 13 hitters without allowing a walk in 6 1/3 innings with Adams as his battery mate. The seventh inning that saw Ray exit in a tied ballgame turned into a testament of Adams’ capability behind the plate in high pressure situations.

“Of course, we're playing a good team, he's facing a pretty good pitcher, and then in the seventh inning, with Rafael Dolis wild a little bit and having the pressure to be blocking balls and blocking the split with the game on the line, he was outstanding,” manager Charlie Montoyo said of Adams. “I guess he said he was nervous in the first inning or something, but I didn't see it. He did a nice job and I was impressed with that.”

The rookie’s nerves weren’t evident in his second at-bat, either. He drilled a four-seam fastball from Rodón and sent it 403 feet to straightaway center for his first big league hit.

“Obviously I've never faced him in my life. I know he's got a good fastball and a good hard slider, but I thought in my first at-bat was good,” Adams said. “I just chased the slider at the end and it's a good pitch, I'll tip my cap to him. But I think when I got to my second time around, I definitely felt a lot more comfortable, and maybe a little bit less nerves and adrenaline kicking in, so I was able to do something on the baseball.”

Adams' family was in attendance to see his first professional hit. They had decided to make the trip because they had an inkling that the 24-year-old was going to make his debut in the series. It was a risk since Adams wasn’t officially on the active roster, but he was traveling with the team in anticipation of it.

They made it to the stadium in time and were fully prepared with the catcher’s Minor League jerseys to show their support.

“Honestly, I had no idea that we're going to do anything with jerseys or anything like that,” Adams said. “They just showed up and I think there were a few parts of the game I was trying to look for them in the stands. I didn't know they were in any jerseys, I was looking for some Blue Jays stuff.”