Saucedo's b-day debut 'a dream come true'

June 18th, 2021

As far as birthdays go, Tayler Saucedo couldn’t have scripted his much better. The lefty reliever -- who turned 28 on Friday -- celebrated a day early with his Major League debut against the Yankees. Saucedo entered with two outs in the fifth and secured three consecutive outs -- one on a strikeout -- to punctuate the moment.

“I felt really good,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and attack; I didn’t want to nibble, I didn’t want to try and be something that I wasn’t. I just wanted to continue doing the things that I was doing at the lower levels, and it worked.”

The Blue Jays selected Saucedo’s contract from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday in hopes that a fresh arm would help boost their beleaguered bullpen. After nearly a week of waiting for his turn, Saucedo did just that, coaxing Brett Gardner, Miguel Andújar and Tyler Wade into a flyout, a strikeout and a 1-3 groundout, respectively, to preserve the 3-3 tie.

“It was filled with excitement and some anxiety,” Saucedo said of the nearly weeklong wait after his promotion. “Obviously, you never know when you’re going to go in there, but I was just anxious, ready to go and I was just trying to soak it all in. You only get to do that once, but it was awesome.”

A four-run New York seventh after Saucedo’s departure ultimately cost Toronto the game, but that didn’t spoil the moment for the Blue Jays’ 21st-round MLB Draft pick in 2015.

“I’ve just been soaking it in: It’s a dream come true,” Saucedo said. “Especially to do it a day before your birthday, too. Can’t ask for much better stuff.”

Blue Jays finalists for ESPN Humanitarian award
On Thursday, the club announced it had been selected as one of four finalists for ESPN’s 2021 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award, along with the Atlanta Dream (WNBA), Denver Broncos (NFL) and New York City Football Club (MLS).

The Blue Jays are the first Canadian team to be a finalist, and the honour recognizes the organization’s work and that of the Jays Care Foundation, which put forth a $7.5 million COVID-19 response plan that supported those affected by the pandemic, with a focus on addressing food insecurity and the unprecedented social isolation that many young Canadians faced.

Toronto tidbits
and his wife, Jennifer, celebrated the birth of their second child on Friday.

• The Blue Jays entered play against the O's on Friday leading the Majors with 103 home runs. 's 22 homers are tied with the Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. for most in MLB, but Guerrero also leads all players in RBIs (56), OBP (.444), OPS (1.119), total bases (162) and fWAR (4.1)

• As Toronto opens a three-game series with the Orioles, it's worthy to note that (.338), (.330) and Guerrero (.336) each have strong career batting averages against Baltimore, and the Blue Jays' .688 win percentage against the O's since 2018 is their highest against any opponent in that span.