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Feierabend has teammates sign lineup card

@baseballexis
May 20, 2019

TORONTO -- Ahead of Monday’s matchup against the Red Sox, Ryan Feierabend made his way around the home clubhouse seeking autographs. The lefty knuckleballer was attempting to get his Blue Jays teammates to sign Saturday’s lineup card, a memento Feierabend received after the game that marked his first Major League

TORONTO -- Ahead of Monday’s matchup against the Red Sox, Ryan Feierabend made his way around the home clubhouse seeking autographs.

The lefty knuckleballer was attempting to get his Blue Jays teammates to sign Saturday’s lineup card, a memento Feierabend received after the game that marked his first Major League start in more than 10 years, his first appearance in the Majors since 2014 and his first complete game.

“I came up with Seattle a long time ago -- 2006 was my debut -- and I never got anything like that from them,” Feierabend said. “So that’s the foremost reason why I wanted guys to sign it. But I also found out it was kind of a piece of history. I’m one of [five] guys to have a four-inning complete game in their career.

“It stinks under the circumstances, how I pitched, it wasn’t the greatest, but nonetheless the guys are great on the team. I love being here, and I wanted everyone to sign it and be a part of it.”

Feierabend completed four innings in the rain-shortened outing on Saturday, allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in his Blue Jays debut. The effort made the 33-year-old the fifth player in the expansion era -- since 1961 -- to throw a complete game with only four innings pitched, and the first since Steve Trachsel on May 11, 2006.

“The last time I was in the big leagues was 2014, as a reliever, and the last time I started was ‘08 in the big leagues, so that definitely played a factor in the back of my mind,” Feierabend said. “But also having a piece of history, it was my first complete game -- albeit four innings -- it’s still pretty cool to have.”

Once the lineup card is complete with his teammates’ signatures, Feierabend knows exactly what he wants to do with his newfound souvenir.

“I’ll get it framed and put it in my house with the rest of my jerseys and stuff like that,” he said. “I don’t have anything like this from when I played with Seattle as a younger kid, so it’s pretty cool having it now towards the end of my career.”

Though the Blue Jays are the third Major League team Feierabend has suited up for, the southpaw’s career has spanned more than 15 years. Before returning to affiliated baseball this season, the southpaw spent his last four seasons in Korea, and he never doubted his ability to return.

“That’s kind of something I’ve done, is being able to persevere,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years now. I took not really a detour, but an alternate route to get back here, going overseas the last four years. And I think it really helped me develop my knuckleball, and that’s basically what separated me and got me back to the big leagues.”

Vlad Jr.'s day off

The same day Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was named American League Player of the Week, he was out of the Blue Jays' lineup for a scheduled day off.

On Monday, Toronto hosted the third-largest crowd it has welcomed to Rogers Centre this season -- after Opening Day and Vlad Jr.’s Major League debut -- with 26,794 fans in the building for its Victoria Day afternoon matchup against the Red Sox, none of whom got to see baseball’s No. 1 prospect in action.

“We knew we were going to play 16 straight games and so we had days off for Grichuk and everybody else,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “And also with Vlad, he missed Spring Training, so we’ve got to be careful -- he already played six straight games.”

Though the day off was scheduled, Vlad Jr. didn’t learn of his game status until he arrived at the ballpark on Monday morning.

“It’s a plan that we have here, and it happens that today, it was my day off,” he said through an interpreter. “I found out when I got to the field.”

Toronto is being careful with its young slugger after he sustained an oblique injury during Spring Training that set back the start of his season, and Guerrero believes that the breaks are necessary for the maintenance of his health.

“I think so, especially because I’m just coming [back from an injury], you guys know that I got hurt in Spring Training,” the 20-year-old said. “So we’re just being careful.”

Vlad Jr.’s AL honors came after a week in which he went 7-for-21 with four home runs, five runs scored, three walks and a .905 slugging percentage over six games on the road against the Giants and White Sox. He is the youngest player in franchise history to win the award.

Here and there

Eric Sogard was scratched from Monday’s lineup with a left thumb sprain he sustained in Sunday’s matchup against the White Sox.

Ken Giles is unavailable for Monday’s game with a sore right wrist after taking a tumble in Sunday’s game. “We’ve got choices,” Montoyo said of a potential replacement for the closer.

Clayton Richard could return to the fold as early as Thursday for the series finale against the Red Sox, after sustaining a right knee injury ahead of the season. “There are two choices right now [for Thursday’s starter],” Montoyo said. “It could be Richard, [we’ll] see how he feels, or Feierabend.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.